Using social media to grow your network

You can curate your social media as a strategy to build your personal brand and professional network by subscribing, liking, sharing, celebrating, following, connecting, and engaging with others in your industry.

What is a personal brand?

Your online presence + your experiences = your personal brand. Your brand is your public reputation. It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Your online activities are a direct extension of your brand, and it’s your responsibility to manage it well.

How does social media impact your brand?

Carefully directing your digital footprint helps manage perceptions and maximize opportunities on social media. The first step to shaping your brand identity is deciding what is the first thing you want people to know about you.

Here are three tips to help you create the image you want to portray on social media:

1. Manage perceptions

Your personal brand consists of all you’ve done, do, and want to do. Represent what you do in words and photos on the internet. Showing, rather than telling, is the most persuasive way to prove your credibility. Each time you post to social media, think about the following:

  • How do you want to be perceived? One word can be enough to drive an entire strategy. Credible, fun, daring, luxurious, foody, techy, etc.
  • What do you want people who see your social media to do, feel, say, or believe about you?
  • Why are you posting to social media? Are you sharing news, making a call to action, or both?
  • What’s the point of what you’re sharing?

2. Maximize opportunities

After deciding how you want to be perceived and what you want to be known for, make it count by connecting with new people and extending your influence.

  • Leverage LinkedIn! Update your profile, including your skills. Ask friends, colleagues, and professional mentors to endorse and recommend you.
  • Aim your social media to target purposeful networking opportunities. Join industry and interest groups. Follow and connect with thought-leaders.
  • Include brief message in your invitation to connect. Answer the question “Who are you?” before they ask.
  • Use words that will convey the best possible professional perception of you.

3. Consume responsibly

Creating a personal brand takes time, but unfortunately damaging your brand can happen in an instant. Read before you share and keep the following points in mind:

  • Sanitize your socials and unfollow accounts that could damage your reputation.
  • Turn on your screen time notification to see how your scrolling adds up.
  • Isolate your notifications to one inbox.
  • Unsubscribe from emails and accounts you no longer need. Less is more.

Expanding your network and communicating your personal brand has never been easier through social media. It’s also never been easier to damage your credibility. Video and photo story content creation are powerful tools to manage your personal brand, but don’t forget — like, post, and share with care. You can delete a bad take, but screenshots are forever.


“Managing Yourself. Boost Your Career with Social Media,” Harvard Business Review (, December 20, 2011.