Tag Archives: personal branding higher ed

Five Social Media Tips for Millennials and You to Manage Your Personal Brand Online

Working in marketing and communication for almost half my life, I have seen plenty of cringe worthy moments online. Dominos video prank. Paula Deen. The list can go on. Some recent cringe worthy moments from this past week’s VMAs reminded me that sometimes adults and students alike have trouble understanding the impact of their actions on their personal brand and online presence. Well for that matter in real life. All of us, regardless if we a recent graduate or a seasoned professional, can learn to manage our personal brand online better.

Who are these Millennials?

But for some adults who work with students, both in college and high school, they already know that social media and students are ubiquitous. They are hyper connected. Ask any college or university about the amount of traffic their students generate on social media. Bad day in the commissary, everyone on social media will know about it. Not happy about the residents halls? Don’t worry, your students already created a Tumblr page about it.

Rachel Metscher Personal Brand for MillennialsSome fun facts about today’s students who are a part of the demographic called “millennials.”

  • As a teacher or boss, you are more likely to get a text from this student rather than having a conversation with them. And from her point of view, text is so much faster. This is supported by a recent Pew study, 56 percent of millennials think technology helps people use their time more efficiently.
  • Millennials send about 20 texts per day. (Pew Social Trends)
  • 80 percent of millennials sleep with their phones next to their beds. (The Millennial Generation Research Review)
  • “The Future of Education” study by Millennial Branding found almost 53% of students polled agree that “online colleges are a reputable form of education,” but only 43% think an online classroom can match or surpass the quality of a traditional one.
  • Read the other stats Digiday pulled together

Social Media and Students: What You Type Today is Permanent

But, with students using social media sites for both personal and school, digital presence is increasingly important as they move from school to full-time employment. Even though these students live in the “now”, they can’t forget what they have posted in the past. It will catch up with them. Harvard Business Review wrote an article back in 2012 that highlights the growing trend of recruiters and hiring managers are relying heavily on the Internet to research candidates for employment. Multiple studies show convincingly that more than 75% of employers actively research candidates online. So, your partying pictures that may be “so sic” may not be to your future employer.

With this in mind, here are some tips to manage your personal brand online:

1)   Your digital footprint lives permanently online. Here’s a fun activity: “Google” yourself and see what comes up. Even more fun select images associated with your name for bonus. Many times students don’t realize that photos they post to their blog or online in general can show up in results. Peter Shankman said it best; “it is no one else’s fault if your personal brand isn’t how you want it to be. It’s not Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin’s fault.”

2)   Think first before your type. It is very easy to send of a tweet about how much you hate school, how unfair your teacher or boss is, etc. But those posts or tweets live on long after you hit send. I am not saying you can’t vent, but rather be cautious.

3)   Set Your Privacy Settings. This maybe obvious to you, but some students don’t every think about changing their setting. So scary. You should not share sensitive info on the interweb.

4)   Connect the Dots. As an educator or mentor, be very clear on how inappropriate or hurtful language is a representative of the individual. This is good advice regardless if you are in high school or a working professional. Your brand is what is reflected in your words, images, and work. This does not stop once you leave work or the school bell rings. This is a hard lesson for most students so help them help themselves by connecting the dots. If you are an educator, you can perform a fun activity by having the students research celebrities and identify what they are “known for.” Using those descriptive words, have the students then identify their own words to describe themselves based only on their digital presence. How they are perceived in their day-to-day interactions may be different than what is reflected online.

5)   Help build a positive social brand. Personal branding, by definition, is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Dan Schawbel, author of Me 2.0, describes how people can leverage the same strategies that make these celebrities or corporate brands appeal to others. Branding tip: whether your posting on social sites or interacting with other students passing through the halls, your words, actions, and behaviors represent you at all times. One bad mishap can have a ripple affect.

While I wrote this in mind for students anyone who wishes to have a better brand should use these tips to monitor their brand. You are what you type.

 (Note: Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation, are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when Generation Y starts and ends. Commentators use beginning birth dates ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s).

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.


8 Tips on How to Present at Your Next Industry Conference

I don’t know about you, but I love to attend conferences. There are many reasons why but here is my top three:

  • Personal Brand
  • Networking
  • Personal Brand

Conferences are not only excellent opportunities to learn, but also to build your personal brand. Last week, I had the opportunity to present with Veronica Steele how higher education institutions can build social media strategies with their limited resources. A tall order for some since most enrollment and higher ed professionals in the room were the only resource dedicated to maintain social media strategy and tactics.  I’ll share a tip with you. The best way to get the most out of your social media efforts is to have a plan and strategy tied to you tactics. We shared the best way to do this on a shoestring and you can check it out too.

While at the conference, I had a few folks ask how I landed the opportunity to present. Was I a social media guru? While I don’t think there are truly social media experts, I do believe there are folks who are in the trenches everyday learning and building amazing programs. This is why I push to present how someone, like me, doesn’t need to be at a Fortune 100 company to do social media well.

But, I bet you have something too to share. So, how can you build your brand to present at a conference or the next association’s event?

1)   Brand Your Social Networks.

What story is your LinkedIn profile telling? First and foremost, your social networks should tell a consistent and cohesive story of who you are and what you are about. If you are passionate about Excel, awesome! Then you LinkedIn should share something about your Excel experience and perhaps your Twitter account shares nuggets how to use it better. Build a story so folks come to know who you are.

2)   Build your Authority.

Blogs are a great way to express your knowledge on a topic and build trust with your audience. Hubspot wrote a post on 11 ways to use content to build authority. Everyone has something to share. Start writing down your ideas in a notebook or use Evernote. Here is how I maintain my social media authority through blogging.

3)   Don’t Wait for Your Boss

 I think many folks wait for their boss, coworkers to validate their expertise. Stop waiting for your boss to say you are the expert. There are very few bosses out there looking to develop their team beyond their current job role. Look for ways to build your personal brand through extracurricular activities such as associations and volunteering. I love to teach about social media whether it is talking to college students how to marketing their innate social skills or speaking with colleagues how to use social media better. Regardless of how big or small, I am always up to share and teach what I know.

4)   Find Industry Champions

Find industry allies who know you and what kind of work you do. These influencers will be a great help and will sometimes refer you for other events and conferences to present. Keep in touch with these folks quarterly or at least annually. For me, I tend to share new articles I have written and ask for feedback on projects. You may have something different to share. Whatever it is make sure to always be connecting.

5)   The ABCs of Conferences: Always Be Connecting

Just because you are an attendee at a conference doesn’t mean you cannot be next year’s speaker. Whatever your industry is, find out how speakers get selected. Whether it is through professional services or marketing, find the decision makers for the conference content and make friends. Conference planners want to know if you are a good speaker so make sure to share your previous work through Slideshare or a blog. I tend to share pervious conference evaluations on my presentations, so if you have those share ‘em. Remember the conference planner job is to make the conference amazing so help her out by showing how awesome of a presenter you are.

6)   Find Internal Opportunities to Present

In order to show you have good presentation skills to the conference planners, you need content to share with them. Create workshops or seminars for your own team or company. Start with your internal stakeholders to see if you have a topic that would be interesting to sales or account teams. Host an internal personal development seminar. Leaders are always looking for professional development opportunities and at a low cost. I wrote how I did my social media training DIY and turned that into an article, which then in turned into a speaking opportunity.

7)   Stop Waiting for your Aha Moment

If you are like most people, you are waiting for some earth-shattering event to occur so that it can be your sign to get moving. Stop procrastinating. Personal branding takes time so the sooner you start the better.

8)   Create Some Content

 You heard content is king, but what does that mean? Anna Famery’s summary shared “If there is no content worth reading or seeing on the site, than people won’t go.” How do you fuel the content machine? Jot down different topics to discuss on your blog. Here is a list to get you started:

  • Industry trends
  • Best practices
  • Tips
  • Pitfalls
  • Top Ten lists
  • Case Studies
  • Personal Observations
  • How To’s
  • Work Funny Ha Ha’s

Bonus: Connect with other like minded professionals. You never know what contacts could lead to your next conference presentation.

Everyone has something to share, what will you write or present about?

Rachel DiCaro Metscher, director of advocacy and communications for Hobsons, has worked with many organizations to build their communications and marketing programs, including Fannie Mae, American Psychological Association, and The Princeton Review. Currently, Rachel is responsible for Hobsons’ external communication programs, which include public relations, brand, website, and social media.