Non-IA Reflection: Building a Brand – Using Social Media to Your Advantage

It is no secret that in the digital age, communication and brand building heavily relies on social media. Every word written, picture posted, and every mention are drawn right back to your own name. In this era of snap judgements and quick-scrolling, how can we make sure that we properly brand ourselves and how can we stand out? On Monday, February 25th, from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM, John Bates, a junior at OSU, and a Smith-Steeb Residence Advisor, hosted an event covering this topic.

John hosted this event in order to offer his peers some tips for developing a personal brand on LinkedIn and other social media platforms, hoping to prepare us for ASC Internship Week. After properly defining the power of a personal brand, John had us contemplate what we wanted our own, unique personal brand to be. One of the key points I took away from this discussion was that if you do not define your own personal brand, others will for you, and I think this is extremely relevant in today’s era.

John included statements from Forbes Magazine that tend to enhance one’s professionalism. One key point was that feedback is often disregarded as unimportant, but in reality, asking questions is one of the most impactful way that you can improving your brand. In addition, supplemental activities, such as saying yes to opportunities that coincide with your brand statement and joining peer groups, are shown to enhance your brand.

Some additional overlooked tips include your own brand statement, or bio, which John compared to the classic “elevator pitch.” When writing this bio, it is of the utmost importance to be unexpected; embrace your quirks! These are the details that will set you apart from others.

When creating a LinkedIn profile,  include the same information as your resume, a summary, detailed information, headline, and a professional photo. As a part of the program, John offered free professional headshots to those who showed interested. In addition, he gave helpful hints and tricks on “netiquette,” such as being brief and breaking up texts to make paragraphs less daunting.

Further development of social media branding should make you stand out to future employers. LinkedIn listed 10 terms that are overused by professionals in their profiles: motivated, creative, passionate, driven, extensive experience, organizational, strategic, track record, responsible, and problem-solving. These are words that automatically lump you together with your peers, it is essential to embrace what makes you different.

In particular, I think events such as these are very beneficial not only to IA Scholars, but all students. The topics covered allowed me to see how marketing myself towards others is a life-line quality in the era of globalization. People can view your brand from anywhere in the world, and media allows us to engage ourselves in this global community.

This event was very beneficial to me overall, especially professionally and personally. It allowed me to connect my education to something meaningful. I was able to transfer this knowledge and apply it to my own LinkedIn and Handshake profile.

LinkedIn is a great tool to showcase your personal brand to employers. However, it is important to keep in mind that your brand on other media platforms matters as well. It is imperative that your activity matches what you want you brand to be and what you find important. You are marketing yourself towards not only potential employers, but potential experiences.

How my professional network was impacted: