Social media branding for people who value privacy

Social media branding for people who value privacy

It’s quite obvious to see that social media has created a momentous shift in how businesses and individuals communicate online. But, how do we tackle this new world of sharing everything in your business and personal life with strangers, when you are someone who values your privacy? There are obvious benefits to one's business and/or personal brand when engaging with a wider audience on social media, but we may feel like we don’t want to be over exposed or mirror how others use social media. We aim to review how one can possibly navigate these uncharted territories and capitalise on the power of social media.

First of all, it is important to evaluate why you want to use social media. Is it from a pure professional standpoint, or more for connecting socially?

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Research how each social media channel works and which one suits you.

Next, is to research which social media channels you want to use and how each one functions, as they do operate differently. For example, Instagram is a visual platform which is based on photography and videos; while LinkedIn is visual, it also offers the ability to write articles and showcase your work experience.

This chart displays the social media landscape
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Just focus on creating a great public profile as a point of reference and for people to communicate with you.

In general, you can use these platforms for what they were intended for, as a point of reference for people (social proof or like a digital business card) via your profile/brand image/credentials, and as a communication tool. Social media channels don’t have to be outlets for spouting out constant information about your business and persona.

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When we look at Instagram for example, you can simply just set up your profile with some good photography, link your contact details and have 5-10 high quality pictures of yourself in your posts, some concise and well thought introductions and descriptions about yourself. That is really all it takes to set up a decent social media profile.

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Again, you have to look at which platform is best suited for you and what you want to achieve. With whichever social media platform you choose, you can use these tools as reference points by linking them to your email signature, business cards or other communication touch points. This is useful for when people want to message you directly, as well as view your profile.

Using Pseudonyms

You can also look at setting up your social media profile using a pseudonym. The use of pseudonyms is very common, especially amongst authors for a variety of reasons. For example, J. K. Rowling and Eric Blair (George Orwell) used pseudonyms. This can help in not feeling over exposed to the world and gives you the ability to communicate, share ideas and your personality in a more comfortable format. You can still have your face to your brand, but the name/handle does not need to be your actual name. Note, this is not to deceive people, but is a technique some use to express themselves in a public format while retaining some privacy.

How you use your social media

With your profile setup you can then decide how you want to share information, if that is something you feel you want to do. It is not entirely necessary to take the same strategy as an Instagram model, where you have to share a ton of photos and videos of your social life.

It does not have to be you blogging or sharing pictures of where you are. Do what fits your personality and identity. You might like to share links to articles you read, interviews or podcasts you listen to, maybe just 1-2 sentences of your own thoughts. These are ways you can start to share things on social media without having to be completely dependent on having to share videos and posts of you constantly.

Remember, quality and authenticity will always trump quantity, so it is best to share ideas and content that you value when you feel it is something worth sharing, you don’t have to put yourself under the pressure to share things every single day. If you feel you want to do a video or post of yourself, test different concepts and styles and see the results. Social media has great reporting tools and you can see what works and what doesn’t, then adapt it to what you feel you can excel at and enjoy doing.

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These are a few suggestions that one can implement to get started on using social media in a productive way that benefits you, but also allows you to retain some privacy.

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