The only thing worse than ignoring social media as a branding tool is using social media incorrectly. Put frankly: if you aren’t going to do it right, don’t do it at all. Sometime’s bad branding can be worse for a public figure status than not using it at all.
There are plenty of tips out there to strengthen your social media presence, but what types of things should you avoid? There are three important points to focus on when looking at bad branding: Posts, Picture, and Followers.
- Edit and Revise
- Quantity Control
The conversations and interactions you have with people at appearances are, by far, the most important interactions you can make as a titleholder. But for those who aren’t at your events, your posts are the only way they can keep track with your reign. As a contestant you made promises to the public, and your posts hold you accountable.
As a public figure it is vital that you post with intention. Every post should not only have a purpose, but be written well. Double check for spelling and grammar errors, make sure you tag any organization you work with, and make sure that the information is correct and gets the point across. You aren’t expected to have a great day every day, but don’t use your page as an outlet for rants. Do not, ever ever ever, negatively discuss a sponsor or partner, director or volunteer, or sister queen– even if they “deserve it”. You do not want to burn those bridges. You also don’t want to drown your viewers with posts. By making sure each post is purposeful and intentional it will help to limit fluff posts. If you plan on posting more than once in a day, space them out. Don’t spam your viewers with posts. On the flip side, you never want to go without posting. Even if you post the occasional fluff post, your audience will lose interest. Set up a schedule with relevant articles to fill in gaps between appearances, and keep your audience engaged.
- Blurry Pictures
Whether or not you use Instagram, pictures are an important part of social media branding. It shows your viewers exactly what you are doing in the community. Whether it is service based, event based, platform based, or preparations; you are a public figure, and people want to see you in action.
A picture is worth a thousand words, but it’s important to make sure you are in charge of those words! You want to make sure the quality stands up to the quality of your brand. A selfie may be cute, but does it represent who you are as a person or titleholder, or does it uphold the quality the organization or region you are representing? Often times a restaurant or gym will sponsor a titleholder, and although it is important to shout them out (with pictures), posting daily photos of your food or fitness endeavors may put unintended attention on your lifestyle. That is not the goal of a titleholder. Always make sure the picture is a good quality photo. You never know where it may end up- on a website, in a newspaper. Your main goal is promoting your business. It may seem like common sense, but first and foremost your public figure page is promoting the organization.
- Follow for Follow.
- “Please follow back”
- Buying Followers.
A sign of a strong social media presence is the number of followers or likes, as well as the interactions with posts. The number of people in your network is often a sign of your notoriety, and can be used to secure sponsors. It may be tempting to use various techniques to gain followers, but they will only ruin your credibility as a public figure.
Asking for a “follow” or “followback” is, simply put, lame. Using the hashtag #follow4follow or #f4f will invite an abundance of users to come follow, expecting a followback. But these users are not in your target market. They aren’t in your region. They aren’t interested in your reign or platform. They are interested in their follower count. They will probably unfollow you in a few days anyway so their followers count exceeds their following count. Asking a person to follow is desperate, and shows a lack of interest in genuine interactions. If you want more followers, invite people to follow through your actions. Like your sister queens’ photos, even those in other states. Comment on posts about your platform, those made by sponsors or local civic organizations. Make them want to follow you.
Facebook has been cracking down on fake accounts, so not only are you risking losing your credibility as a public figure by buying these fake followers, but there’s a high chance that Facebook will delete them anyway. Not to mention, the number of your followers is not nearly as important as who those followers are. Fake followers to not interact with posts- no likes, comments, or shares. This means your posts are essentially useless, because no one is actually seeing them.
Social media is so important for personal branding as a public figure, wether or not you’re a titleholder. Just be sure to follow all the great tips out there, and avoid the things that could diminish your value. What other things do you think Public Figures should avoid doing on social media?