Personal Branding and Social Media Tips

Experts Suggest These Personal Branding & Social Media Tips for Women In Bio

April, 19, 2019

Women In Bio gathered a panel of experts to shed light on the important role that social media and branding plays in business and your career; especially a science career. Often in the biology fields we expect that the science and the data will speak for itself, but these days social media can play an important role in sharing your work and advancing your career.

The panel included:

Women in BIo

Nikki Bracy – Social Media Supervisor at Planit Agency
Lisa Cleary – Mindset & Health Content Writer
Sarah HanfordBee Social Solutions
Cassie Calvert – Social Media Coordinator for Baltimore Ravens football team
Emma Jekowsky – Social Media Specialist at University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB)

Moderator: Chris Frew – CEO and Founder of BioBuzz and Workforce Genetics

Social media is a great tool to strengthen your brand. The difference between personal and business brands is blurred these days. The main thing to note is when you can use your own voice and when you are speaking on behalf of your organization. On your own page for your personal side hustle or hobby, you may create content in your own voice with your own sense of humor and opinions. However, when you are communicating on your company’s behalf you must represent their brand and focus on their message.

Yes, it can be a challenge for some introverts to jump into the social media crowd, but as the panel of experts made clear; there is actually a science behind social media too and anyone can learn it.

It’s never too late to get started, even for introverts, so here are some simple tips and tricks we learned that will help you along the way.

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Know your brand

When creating your marketing plan and social media strategy there are several things that you need to take into account, knowing your brand is the first step. This will influence everything you put online, once you have your brand you can determine your company’s tone and voice when communicating with your audience and ideal clients.

It can be daunting trying to figure out what your company represents and how you will portray this to the public.

“Think about how you connect with people, the authenticity shows through your energy, words, and images you choose to share.”

– Sarah Hanford

Promote your brand

Determine which platforms you’re going to utilize then set up your page and determine what your goals and objectives are. What is your business going to offer? Using your goals you will then develop your ‘content pillars’ by choosing 2-5 things that you will always be talking about and rotating them.

“Engage in conversations that are relevant to your goals and brand, model your strategy based off of what other successful people are doing.”

– Nikki Bracy

How much time should you dedicate?

The length of time dedicated to planning and executing your posts will vary. In the beginning, when you are still working to find your organization’s voice it will take some time, but as you become more comfortable and knowledgeable it won’t take as long to curate content.

Other factors that influence this are ebbs and flows of your business and if you are posting in real time. You can also plan content around upcoming events. If you know you have a big conference coming up, sit down with your team in advance to pick events that you will want to comment on or promote. Knowing ahead of time and having something prepared will make it easier to fire off in the moment.

Workforce Genetics offers recruiting and marketing services to help life science companies grow and attract the best talent.

Cleary urges you to “Break up your goals into smaller manageable milestones and be realistic about the amount of time and bandwidth you have to dedicate to this, especially if you don’t have a marketing team.”

Utilize analytics & engagement statistics to give your audience what it wants

These numbers tell you what posts are performing well, they are calculated based upon on the user’s interaction with your content.

Knowing the ‘Algorithm’ of a platform and how to manipulate it is important to executing your strategy. The algorithm is a computer code that determines how things are prioritized in the user’s feed based on their interactions and clicks. It differs from platform to platform:

  • Twitter is more focused on current events and breaking news
  • IG is based upon what posts and accounts you engage with most
  • Facebook is geared around “authentic social interactions” with friends

“Keep in mind, the algorithm is always subject to change on any platform, so don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.”

– Cassie Calvert

You need to have a diverse content profile so if there is a change, some of your posts will continue to perform while you adapt to the update.

Know what your measure of successful engagement is

Whether it is getting likes, comments, shares, or driving traffic to an external site for purchases. It is a common misconception that just because a post has a lot of likes, you successfully engaged with your audience. ‘Likes’ are an immaterial measure if your goal of the post was to get user feedback in the comments section.

Join Online Communities Within LinkedIn and Facebook

You can create a page for your company and join groups for more authentic interactions and answer questions with more authority. Participating in groups gives you the opportunity to speak in a free forum on behalf of your company.

Groups are also a great place for scientists or researchers to connect with people within their niche. The most important thing to know is what you want to get out of social media, why are you there? Whether you are looking to collaborate with someone, get funding, or promote your own work, groups are an excellent place to grab your audience’s attention in an interesting way.

Best practices

It’s important to connect with individuals, tap into old networks like college alumni, then move the conversation off of social media to a phone call or email.

Hanford stresses the importance of solidifying the connection, “Continue to build your email list so you can have connection off of the platform. Social media is rented ground, make sure you have the ability to connect with them personally through their email or phone number.”

BioBuzz's Social Media for Scientists Do's and Don'ts

These tips and guidelines will help you navigate the science of social media and start your online branding. If you’re still hesitant to jump in and post or reach out, start by joining the platform and do some social listening, observe what other people are posting and how they interact. Keep in mind, your social media success will not happen overnight. Like anything in business you have to build your reputation and you will get out of it what you put into it.

A special thanks to Karen Underwood, Research Lead Specialist at the University of Maryland, and Program lead for the Women In Bio event for organizing a great event.

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