When you need to find out about something, what is the first tool you reach for? That’s right, the big G! Google is the absolute first go-to tool for most of us when we need to get information on just about anything. So, what did you find the last time you googled yourself? Come on now, I know you’ve done it! We all have. If the search results were somewhat lackluster, there is something you can do. By leveraging the power of popular social media sites, your name and personal brand is more likely to appear in the top tier of search engine results. Ready to dig in? Great, let’s get started.
The top spots go to other Google products. Why, you may ask. Simple. Google LOVES Google. As the premier search engine out there, you would be remiss if you failed to capitalize on the link juice flowing from Google’s own products in building your branding strategy.
Personal Branding by Leveraging Social Media
First up is Google+ (G+). This profile is perhaps the most important one to complete in your personal branding process. This is because Google lifts snippets of information from your profile to build search engine results for your personal brand. For example, it uses your tagline, occupation, and employment information extensively so you’ll want to be sure to spend some time and complete those sections with care. Google also gives you the opportunity to claim a vanity URL. Take advantage of this. Once completed, your profile link will coincide with your personal brand rather than a long string of difficult to remember numbers. Also be sure to link back to your blog site as well as your other social media platforms.
YouTube makes the list next. YouTube is really just a massive search engine centered on video content. Because Google owns YouTube and loves video, content is usually shown in the top tier or search results. In order to capitalize on this, make a short video about yourself and your personal brand, optimized for your name or that of your brand. Create your own channel under your brand name and link to your back to your site and other profiles. Again, you have the option of a vanity URL so go ahead and grab it here too.
Slideshare is another site that tends to show up well in search results. Create an account here and begin sharing simple slide shows for your audience. It’s yet another means of capitalizing on Google’s apparent love of multi-media services. Again, you will want to exercise some care in completing your profile as Google pulls information from the occupation and organization sections in creating the search results for your personal brand. Be sure to link back to your blog site as well as your other social media profiles. Once again, the vanity URL option is available so grab it to keep things consistent.
Of course Facebook has to make the cut. Zuckerberg just wouldn’t have it any other way! The same rules apply here when completing your profile. Add links as appropriate but be sure to link to your main site at a minimum. Your profile picture should be related to your personal brand as well.
Tweet it! Twitter profiles have become especially popular of late, especially since the advent of the periscope app. Complete your profile as before, but mix in some of your targeted keywords as you complete each section. Again be sure to link back to your main site and claim your vanity URL. Twitter can be an extremely effective method of gaining an audience, even if you are not terribly active on the platform. Just send out a tweet saying something to the effect of “Not active on twitter, but you can connect with me at (URL)” You may be surprised at the number of followers you will pick up with just a few messages.
LinkedIn, although primarily geared towards business professionals, can also be effective in building your personal brand. Google crawls these profiles pretty regularly so they tend to appear in top spots on search results. Complete your profile with care here too. Use your targeted keywords in your descriptions and claim your vanity URL. Be sure to take advantage of the applications tab to create links back to your main site and all your other social media profiles.
The “About” page on your own site is also a powerful but often overlooked area to capitalize on when building your personal brand. This is also the only profile page in which you have complete control over the amount and type of information you wish to share. Make this as appealing as possible but avoid excessive hype. Instead, focus on what your customers love about you or your service. Be sure to provide contact information via links to your other social media profiles here. I recommend including a link to your about page in all your other profiles as well, just to keep it consistent with your branding strategy.
Pintrest is a relative newcomer to the game. Although it’s been around a while, pintrest is beginning to gain ground in search results, making it worth of consideration in building your personal brand. Complete your profile and claim that URL. (See the trend here?) Link back to your main site and share a photo or two while you’re at it. You may pick up some new followers in the process.
Last, we have your About.me page. This site is much like an extended version of the “about me” page on your website. You can share tons of valuable information about yourself and your brand here. Again, fully complete the profile, claim the vanity URL, and link back to your sites and profiles.
Even if you are not regularly active in each of these platforms, just having a properly completed profile helps in garnering page one results on Google. Since Google lifts various snippets of information from each of these sites to display in search results, carefully interlinking your profiles allows you to maximize the “link juice” flowing from each. Following this simple branding strategy will ensure that your personal brand appears more frequently in the top tier of search engine result, and that’s what you’re really after in the end.
Until next time,