Social Media and Personal Branding: Link Roundup and Advice for Nonprofiteers

In the past week, a couple members of the Nonprofit Millenial Bloggers Alliance offered some insight on social media and personal branding for folks in the nonprofit sector.

Rosetta (@rosettathurman), 6 Ways to Use Twitter to Enhance Your Nonprofit Career
Colleen (@cdilly),  Personal Branding Makes You Better at Your Job
Me (@ajlovesya),  Misconceptions on Social Media and Personal Branding
Elizabeth (@eclawson),  Being a Brand versus Being Yourself

There are generally three concerns when it comes to social media and personal branding: content creation, usage, and real life application.  Fortunately, these challenges are easy to over come, but they do take some patience and practice.

Content Creation (I don’t have anything to write about!)

  • Listen: Spend time reading blogs and following people on twitter to get a sense of what’s out there—trends, styles, and interesting topics.  Alltop.com is a great place to start searching for blogs to read.  WeFollow is good for people and organizations to follow on twitter and check out twitter lists of suggested people to follow.
  • Reflect: Add to the conversation by reflecting on what you are learning. Write a response to a compelling article or do research on a topic that people are buzzing about.  Share your personal experiences in a way that offers insight and advice to others that may be in a similar situation.
  • Plan: Keep a pen and pad around with you to jot down ideas as they come to you—sometimes your inspiration won’t come from the internet.  Also, plan your blog posts ahead of time and space them out so you have content to pull from.

Usage (I don’t want to seem like robot—I want to connect with people!)

  • Focus on Others: Ask yourself how you can provide value to other people based your shared interests.   Link to people, retweet their content, share information you think others will find useful, and ask questions to start new conversations.
  • Quality over Quantity: If you don’t have anything to share, don’t.  Don’t flood people’s feeds and inboxes with bland or mediocre content just because.

Real Life Impact (This social media stuff doesn’t matter in the real world!)

  • Attend Events: If you are into social change, social media is a great way to find out about events as way of meeting people and learning more about social change.  Take it to the next level by not only attending events, but also speaking at events, helping publicize events, or coordinating your own.
  • Meet People in Real Life: I have had the privilege of meeting so many wonderful people (Ami Dar, Rosetta Thurman, Nancy Lublin, to name a few) not to mention making new friends through social media.  While developing relationships online, don’t be afraid to take them off line, by meeting up.
  • Connect to Work: Colleen and Rosetta brilliantly demonstrate how the skills you develop working on your social media presence can be applied to your job. What’s key is exposing your colleagues and organization to new ideas and opportunities through social media.  In using social media effectively, you are constantly learning—why not share your learning with others?
  • Tell People: Add a link of your social media accounts to your email signature, join blog carnivals to spread the work about your work, and tweet/email your work.  More and more people are looking for talent online so getting the word out can lead to offline professional success.