Today, fortunately and unfortunately social media is a part of a person’s identity. If you’re using online sites then you are sharing yourself with the public and everything you say or share becomes public information you can’t take back. In the PR industry many future employers and companies want to know that you understand social media and are actively participating on it. That being said, your personal social media sites are free game and an easy way for clients and employers to learn more about your personality and brand.
If you plan to have your personal Instagram account open to public viewing then it’s time to make sure it reflects your personality in a good way and shows that you can be professional as well.
Follow these easy tips to get started cleaning up and developing your personal brand on Instagram:
1. Make sure your username is both appropriate and relevant. A simple username that includes your name or organization is perfect. Keep it short and easy to read.
2. Share your interests, major, job or any personal websites in your bio. This is a space for you to literally share in words what you want people to know about yourself. Make sure you include your full name on your profile so they know correct spelling. If you’re a student, add your major! If you’re a graduate share what company you work for and the field you work in. If you have a specific favorite field of PR let people know! Don’t be afraid to add a personal touch as well. If you love coffee or flowers one or two of your favorite emoji’s at the end can show your character. Lastly, include a link to your blog or an email if you want people to be able to contact you.
3. Be careful when choosing a profile picture. Your profile picture is the first thing people see. Many people find it helpful to keep the same profile picture on all their social media sites from Instagram to Facebook to LinkedIn. Whether or not you want the same is up to you! My Instagram is primarily for personal use so I don’t have the same headshot profile picture as I do on my LinkedIn. It’s still important to make sure it’s appropriate though; stay away from too much skin, party pictures, you know the rules.
4. Post party pictures wisely. If you’re of age, I don’t see anything wrong with posting a picture, drink in hand. But I wouldn’t post pictures doing shots on a table. Steer clear of pictures with stacked red cups all over the background and empty bottles covering the counters. You’re allowed to have fun but your future boss might not want to know just how much fun you had.
5. Pay attention to your attire. If you’re going to be uploading pictures of yourself just make sure you’re wearing something you would be comfortable with both your family and future clients seeing you in. You don’t need to be wearing a turtleneck or business suit in every picture because that most likely doesn’t show you character but if you’re wearing a revealing cocktail dress in Vegas for your friends bachelorette party, maybe you should stick to a picture neck up. You’re the judge and every situation is different but just think about the context and who might be viewing these pictures before posting.
6. Do spell check. When posting a caption you must spell check! Most people understand that captions are just short blurbs about the picture and don’t expect to see complete sentences but do make sure your spelling is correct and clear.
Each person will have a different opinion to personal social media sites and many people use them for different reasons but I think we can all agree if you’re in the PR industry and your account is set to public then it’s important to make sure you’re comfortable with anyone seeing it. Once you post something on the internet there’s no going back.
Once you have cleaned up your Instagram feel free to tackle your other accounts as well! Here’s a useful article about enhancing your personal brand on Twitter: