In current times, social media functions extremely well as a branding tool - for businesses as well as for individuals. There are various platforms to use and various ways in which you can utilize social media to work for you. Building a brand as a senior executive has become essential in order to grow your own success. And growing your brand with social media for senior executives is a great way to further your career. So, why should senior executives build their personal brand? In the context of using social media for personal or professional branding, it does very well to showcase your strengths, experience, and interests. It also works to highlight particular wins in your career. And this, in turn, reflects on the success of your business, as a representative or public entity of your business or company. Developing a distinct and personal identity for your professional brand helps create awareness and recognition. At the same time helping you achieve personal growth and take your career forward. Having strong personal branding helps you build authority and authentic recognition as an expert in your field. This will help you stand out in a crowd. You will become more visible and the go-to person when it comes to solving problems related to your area of expertise. With a strong personal brand you will attract quality investors and clients, and people become naturally drawn to you in matters that concern your field. Having a well-established brand will also allow you to charge a premium to all your clients on your professional offerings, and people will be willing to pay that premium for your expertise. Tips to build a personal brand on social media Here’s how you can build a strong brand as a senior executive; 1. Define your brand Before even approaching a platform, work on defining yourself and your professional identity. Since you are already an expert in your field, narrow down that expertise and define your role in that area and the solutions and value you are capable of offering. This will act as the foundation of your brand. Remember to be authentic when defining your personal brand. It should reflect your skills, your passions, your knowledge, and your beliefs. Focus on things that make you and your vision unique. 2. Explore social media platforms If you are confused about which platforms to use, you are not alone. There are multiple choices, the most popular ones being online platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. While each serves a slightly different purpose, you don’t need to use all of them at a time. Start with just one. More often than not, one is all you need. LinkedIn is the most popular for professional profiles and is almost mandatory for professionals. Facebook can serve as a platform for any kind of profession and is also popular. Twitter is used to get your word out and express your opinions. YouTube and Instagram are catered towards more visual brands. YouTube works if you intend to create videos expressing your ideas, Instagram serves the purpose of both images and videos. Social media for senior executives will usually involve LinkedIn as a primary profile. And as a corporate professional, it is a must to begin with. Any one of the others can serve as a supplement platform once you get accustomed to using LinkedIn to its fullest. 3. Set up your profile Managing your personal brand begins with your awareness of the reputation you already have and want to grow. Your professional social media page should reflect your brand and your vision for yourself. \tOpen accounts with your name and maybe your expertise. Avoid adding terms that are casual or unrelated to your brand. \tCreate a unique profile, preferably with a professional headshot, and use the same username and display image in the case of multiple platforms. \tCreate a brief but compelling personal bio for all your online platforms that explains your identity. While different platforms offer different options to present your bio, use the same words as much as possible even though one might be longer than another. \tMake sure that you maintain your brand’s vision and reflect it in every bit of content you publish under your brand's name whether it is imagery, video, or text. 4. Think about your audience When building a brand, it is important to identify your target audience - these are people who will benefit from what you have to offer. As an executive building a brand, you need to keep in mind that your audience may have similar professional backgrounds, income, goals, and dreams, or they may aspire to and are working towards it. While recruiters and industry peers might also follow your work, remember the purpose of a social media profile, whether professional or not, is to share your work and ideas with an online community and grow that community. When planning your social media activity, remember that you need to create engaging content that your audience wants to consume. Curating content that helps build your brand can be difficult but the options are limitless. You can share content that you have written yourself, making it authentic and showing your audience that you have knowledge of the latest trends. Try and share your ideas and opinions with a fresh approach towards that subject. 5. Consistency and details Once you have your platforms and profiles set up, start posting relevant content. You can also share relevant posts that other users have posted. The key here is to keep the information relevant. So avoid posting cute animals or other information that is not connected to your work and brand. Try and post as regularly as possible. The more you post, the more engagement you create. However, you need to be careful about over-posting which can lead to your page being regarded as spam. Post around 3-4 times per week. Social media works best when you are regular and consistent. Social media for senior executives is the same. Considering that this is reflecting your own personal brand you should be very careful to ensure your posts are worded well and convey ideas in the best language possible. 6. Employ a content strategy Once you are accustomed to posting content regularly, think about your content strategy. Don’t just create content that establishes your brand, instead create content that enables you to solve the problems of your clients and forward your agenda for your brand. Create a calendar and plan your social media posts for an extended period of time. This will make it easy to manage. You can also schedule your posts using apps like Hootsuite. Your strategy should also involve re-sharing content - like brand videos. It may seem simple, but it is an effective way to make your own brand’s social media presence more noticeable on social media platforms. 7. Join groups on social media You can find groups related to your expertise on LinkedIn and Facebook. Look for groups that are focused on specific industries or topics that you are interested in. Like any brand on social media, social media for senior executives will benefit from joining groups. Engagement in different groups can help you become accountable to your brand, learn about other activities and relevant news, motivate yourself, find new ideas, push yourself to achieve your goals, gain new skills, and grow your confidence. You can also use these groups to your advantage. You can use them to extend your engagement and connect with others to build active and like-minded communities. Take the time to interact with people who may become potential clients, partners, and supporters. 8. Monitor your progress Social media for senior executives, just like any other, will be slow in the beginning. Progress is usually slow and your following and recognition will only grow over time. Monitor your growth to ensure that your personal branding is heading in the right direction. You can use the tools available on your chosen social media platform to track traffic, branded searching, social media reach, mentions, and feedback to monitor progress as well as the growth of your brand. Don’t forget to update your profile with milestones and wins in your career as well. Monitoring your progress will allow you to see what is working and what is not working with your audience. This could be anything from the days you decided to make posts to the kind of posts you have been making. Then you can adjust and update your content strategy and continue to monitor and try different approaches till you find something that works. Social media can be intimidating and daunting in the beginning. But it can be a real asset to your career. These points will help you get started and continue on a growing social media journey.