Social media platforms encourage spontaneity and expression of whims of the moment. In some ways, this helps create the energy you find there. We view Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the like as presenting an authentic version of the people we find there. But this also creates potential for your personal brand to diminish in the eyes of many. If you are not thoughtful in your approach, it sets you up to move off the message or the approach with which you prefer people associate you, and takes away from the hard work you do to present yourself in a positive way. For you to leverage social media to help you reach personal success, you need to use it intentionally and meticulously.
Keep It Consistent
One aspect of social media management that goes a long way toward enhancing your levels of success is consistency. This begins with the most basic piece of data you provide: your name. Different platforms should retain the same name, rather than bouncing among pseudonyms and alternate identities. Your Instagram and Facebook and Twitter can interact, play off each other, and grow through each other, but they have less ability to do so if you do not retain a single identity throughout. This can go as far as keeping the same form of your first name (Ben vs. Benjamin, Dave vs. David, and the like), or including your maiden name in one place but not in another. Call yourself the same thing everywhere to maximize your exposure.
In addition, the more you do to maintain consistency in appearance across your social media outlets, the greater your synergies between them will be. Your colors, borders, imagery, and themes all serve as a reflection of you. When you present yourself in a scattershot way, it becomes more difficult for any style of presentation to take hold. Your opportunity for personal success increases when you build your presence on itself, rather than splitting it into segments. Just as a house divided upon itself cannot stand, so a social media presence divided into fragments can never be as strong as a unified presence across platforms.
Control Your Focus
This is not to say that you cannot exhibit different sides of yourself across your platforms. To gain the most impact, though, this should occur within the context of a unified image. The same kinds of themes and imagery can exist across platforms while still allowing variety between seriousness and playfulness, or while providing varied, original content. But to give your voice the most power, you need to set your overall stage as one that is definitively you. Your focus, then, should remain the same through all of your social media presence, letting people see what you are about in a consistent manner.
Of course, personal success often grows from personal dynamism. The focus you present does not mean you do not provide variety for your social media audience. Your interests should spread out among different areas, but all should revolve around a central focus that represents your reason for being on social media. Think of a bicycle wheel: the spokes of the wheel all connect to the center, a primary focus area that holds everything else together. Your social media posts should work in the same way; they move out in all directions, but every one of them retains its connection to the center of the wheel. If the center holds true, the rest works without distracting readers from your main purpose.
For example, if you focus your social media platforms on being a writer, you have many topics that can stem from that. You can create posts about writing, about the subjects on which you write, about topics that you would like to write about, or hundreds of other possibilities. But the look of your pages, though, and the driving focus of the content you post, should always come back to writing. This gives you freedom to express yourself in different ways without diverting focus in multiple primary directions. You can focus across multiple platforms without risking boredom for your audience or yourself.
Even as you build out consistency across your platforms, developing and maintaining a unique voice is critical. Your themes and imagery should provide a reflection not just of someone in your position and of your background, but specifically who you are. Your individuality should emerge from each platform, through a combination of the written and visual content you present. It should include your name and whatever imagery and themes best help your personality, experience, and life force emerge.
Finding your unique voice in your posts comes through not only the content itself, but the tone you employ as well. Your syntax, your sense of humor, and your word choices will all help create the unique, personal style that you present to the world. Accompanying those words with the right visual content as well can help build a powerful social media presence that could only be yours. In one social media platform, this can be effective. When you build it out across multiple platforms, though, it grows into a powerful, broad online presence that helps you establish the levels of personal success for which you are striving.
Social media platforms provide opportunity for people to give voice to their thought processes and ideas, for a multitude of purposes. Some merely look to unload their thoughts and whims of the moments, to keep up with friends and acquaintances, or to look in on current trending topics and news stories. All of these are legitimate purposes, and they require little effort or attention. If you want more, though, you can leverage these tools to achieve personal or business success in a variety of ways. When you develop a voice that you can carry across the various social media outlets, you can create, develop, and distribute a personal identity that allows you to reach further and accomplish more. A strong, consistent, unique voice can help take you from social media user to success story.