Inc.com published an interesting article commenting on the impact of social media on how a personal brand is perceived. With the advent of Facebook and Twitter, it is becoming increasingly easy for people to self-promote, and some people take this to mean “more tweets/updates” = “more trust”.
See the article by Brent Leary.
Social Media Vs. Trust
The results of this study show that as more “people like me” join the social media communication channels, they are constantly competing for brand recognition against slews of other “people like me”.
The personal brands that really stand out and make it big online tend to be those with a distinct voice. Instead of sharing what they had for lunch, they create high value content that focuses on solving customer problems and displaying their expertise.
These successful brands have an opinion, and they’re not afraid to share it and make it known to the world. This in turn helps them to stand out from the overly crowded social networking websites, and make a name for themselves.
There is power in the middle road: not quite “an everyday person”, yet not a faceless corporation. The biggest differentiator is how someone can provide value in the marketplace, either through free content, videos, podcasts, newsletters and articles… or by engaging on social media with potential customers and clients.
Content marketing and social media marketing are all based on the exchange of value, so if there is no perceived value, then there is no trust.
Personal Brands In 3-Dimensions
The other side of the coin is that most authority websites have a full-time dedicated team to man their social media channels and create valuable content. Is it possible for a solopreneur or small personal brand to compete with this onslaught of high quality content?
I believe it is, and I also believe that the only way that a smaller business owner trying to leverage social media for their company is to be 3-dimensional.
That being not just posting dry facts, but also showing their personality and being real.
If there’s one thing that people can sniff out on the internet, it’s people who aren’t being authentic and real.
That realness is ultimately what leads to increased trust, and trust is what people use to make a buying decision at the end of the day.