…thoughts on personal branding and storytelling
You have probably heard the story of microinfluencers in marketing being able to reach better levels of engagement when compared to more popular influencers. (Adweek, 2017)
It’s also important to understand why this happens. Once you do, it will help you establish a credible personal branding for yourself as a marketer or professional in any field.
Erica Sweeney writes for Marketing Dive that when it comes to brands associating with influencers, “quality of followers was the top criteria for choosing which influencers to work with, followed by credibility and reputation and transparency” (2019)
3 keywords that should define every decision we take in our journey as professionals aiming to grow and expand our possibilities.
Credibility, Reputation and Transparency.
You could repeat these words, write them everywhere around your house, read them a thousand times, and it is not until you meet someone that truly exemplifies these words, and that also happens to understand Social Media in-and-out from the perspective of an influencer, that you finally realized the relevance of tying these 3 words to your personal brand in a world of business being defined by social and hyperconnectivity.
Some months ago, I had the pleasure of asking Marines Duarte, Founder of En Tus Zapatos Content Platform, Princesas Guerreras #PrincesaWarrior, and Co-Founder of M4 Digital Media about Social Media. Recently, I was excited to find out about her participation at Austin’s Mom 2.0 summit, hosted by Google, and that’s not it… she had the opportunity to introduce and share stage with none other than Brene Brown, who currently has her own Netflix Original Special.
When I asked Marines about the challenges of Social Media nowadays, this is what she had to say:
“We are a Media agency, and Social Media is part of the majority of our clients strategy, in some cases it takes all or most of its budget. We focus on media, PR, BTL and Social Media is taking over all of the areas. The challenges we are seeing is the constant change in the industry, by the time we plan and implement a strategy things could change and we need to be in sync with this fast paced industry, also we have executives with the skills to adapt and be able to understand, know and be on top of what is going on in the industry. Creativity is a MUST, we need to be creative, do research on the countless opportunities, otherwise campaign dollars could get lost among so much clutter and options. Also, as an agency we need to educate clients on the importance of the relationship with creators (it is not about a number), on analyzing the right niche and target and make sure they understand that it is not about the numbers (likes, followers, friends) but about the right vehicle / influencer / account (even if it reaches less people) in order to generate engagement and credibility. Also, we need to be ORGANIC and OPEN for creators to develop the tone, message, and ideas – of course, following the client’s objectives and key messages.”
SENTIMENT, EMOTIONS, CONNECTION
When I asked about budget issues, Marines Duarte drove me back to the importance of connection, hence the reason I wanted to bring this valuable information I obtained earlier in the year, and connect it with personal branding and the three words: credibility, reputation, and transparency. She continued:
“Nowadays the budget is not necessarily the main aspect to worry about , it should be the sentiment, the emotion, and connection the brand creates. Brands need to touch hearts with smart, down to earth, ‘connected to reality’ messages. I would create more Social Live Workshops – where people really meet, hug, and talk to the person – then we take it to the devices and then back to the “in person” component. Something else I would develop – more metric systems to reduce the clutter of “fake” accounts that are taking money away from startups and small brands.”
So yes, better levels of engagement are key for brands wanting to connect with influencers, but how do brands measure true levels of sentiment, emotions, and connection might be a challenge that could be defeated when combining the Social life inside the devices with that “in-person” element we all need.
When brands are able to unveil the mask behind the vanity metrics and value the insights of engagement metrics, and when they stop investing and measuring success by “get-rich-quick” mentalities, they will learn to take advantage of a sustainable long term relationship with an individual that represents credibility, reputation, and transparency.
This might help organizations aiming to create a connection with an influencer, but at the talent acquisition level, this formula might be key when recruiting and retaining individuals who will make decisions for your organization.
So if you are that type of individual… your crowd might be around the corner. Now go get them, and never compromised to represent a personal brand that doesn’t belong to you.
Lin Manuel Miranda in Hamilton questions “Who lives, Who dies, Who tells your story”… You don’t have to wait, and is all thanks to Social Media. Start now. Don’t let anyone tell your story.