Personal Branding & Social Strategy Advice You HAVEN’T Heard, Live from #Pubcon

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Personal Branding & Social Strategy Advice You HAVEN’T Heard, Live from #Pubcon was originally published on, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Personal branding and social strategy – it’s a subject close to all digital marketers’ hearts. Mark Traphagen, Matt Craine and Mel Carson are speaking on this hot topic at Pubcon Las Vegas. Hear what they have to say on the importance of personal branding in a world where everyone is Googling everyone else.

Branding and Social Strategy from Proven Experts(1)

Real People Power for Brands

Mark Traphagen (@MarkTraphagen), senior director of online digital marketing at Stone Temple Consulting kicks it off. How can personal brands work for business? Businesses need to make real connections, he says, and that’s hard to do if you’re simply a brand. You need to create emotional connections with your consumers.

How do you take something as dead and inert as a brand and make it alive?” asks Traphagen.

“How do you take something as dead and inert as a brand and make it alive?” – @MarkTraphagen
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Build community. Moz does this spectacularly. One of their great successes has been building this active, passionate community around their brand. This community is, in turn, more inclined to try out Moz’s products

The Brand Humanization Ladder

“We’re not all ready to be at every stage, but we can do something to start the climb. Humanize your business to make it more connectable with people,” says Traphagen. Here are the rungs of the ladder:

Cause Supporter

Get involved in things that really people care about. Traphagen shares an example of a pet insurance company creating content about not leaving pets in cars when it’s hot. People care about that, and that made them care about the pet insurance company by proxy.


Look for real conversations that they can engage in in real time. Denny’s was on its way out as a brand. On the verge of bankruptcy, they began to listen online to what people were talking about. They learned it wasn’t about food, but about getting together with friends at 3 a.m. Denny’s began to engage in those conversations and make their brand “hipster cool.”

Employee Advocacy

Give you employees the freedom and tools to be involved in social on behalf of your brand. “Advocacy is born form culture, not technology or marketing” Jay Baer – you can’t order your employees to do this, but if you create a culture where your employees LOVE your brand, it will come naturally. Encourage it.

Personal Brand Representation

Develop and encourage people to be personal brands. It can have a powerful effect because it is human. We have a desire to belong and to connect. We want that as humans. We want to converse. We want to speak and be understood. Conversations are extremely important. We’re very drawn to humans. It’s called pareidolia. Evolution has trained us to be drawn to other humans. Consider the now defunct Google authorship – Google recognized the value in seeing a really face next to a content.

Your brand will most rapidly and successfully gain the social trust of its audience when it is associates with powerful personal brands. As they go out into the world and connect with people, that authority of those people is transferred onto the company itself. Read more from Traphagen on personal branding here:

Personal Branding: 10 Practical Tips

Mel Carson (@MelCarson), founder of Delightful Communications, calls brand an experience. An effective brand, he says, is way more than a logo. What is the impression you’re leaving?

He shares a quote from Seth Godin: “A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Be discoverable. Be shareable. Be memorable.

Build a brand through PR and social. Build relationships to become trusted. Differentiate through emotional connections to become more remarkable and unmistakable. Only 15% will be believe a brand, but 90% will believe a peer, friend or family member, according to Nielsen. Nurture your loyal fans.

Personal Branding Sweet Spot


The Ten Personal Branding Tips

  1. Own your own name
  2. Invest in a professional photo. According to, the photos that resonate the most with other are close-up, smiling and showing teeth.
  3. Make your out-of-office email work harder. Don’t just say you’re out of the office. For personal branding, you should say why you’re out of the office. Offer a Twitter handle. An email signup, etc.
  4. Create a social media ratio that is 60% business and 40% personal.
  5. Be thoughtful about your bio on third party sites.
  6. Label your photos with your name for SEO.
  7. Add Social channels and messages to emails.
  8. Make your business cards stand out.
  9. Make LinkedIn a living profile.
  10. Be social by design. Link channels and repurpose content.

Personal Branding of the Company: AKA Your LinkedIn Profile Probably Sucks

Brand Strategist Matt Craine (@MattCraine) asks “what is your brand?” It’s not what you think it is – it’s what they think it is. You don’t own your reputation – you’re at the mercy of what everyone thinks of you.

85% of consumers rely on search engines to find a local business. 78% of consumers consult reviews or ratings before landing on a business. Reviews are a really big deal. But what does this have to do with you as an individual?

Everyone is a stalker. People are online researching people they’ve met in business. When you’re in business, you are getting stalked. Craine guarantees us we’re all being stalked.

By association, you are part of the company brand. Everything online about an employee reflects on the company. With everything else equal, people buy from people they like.

If you own or represent a business, everyone employee has to clean up their act everywhere:

  • LinkedIn
  • Google+
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Image Search
  • Videos

Change your LinkedIn view settings. By default, your profile is not public. Change it to public. (67% of B2B marketers are actively using LinkedIn).

Buy the domain name for all your employees. It’s $10 for a domain. It’s $20-45 for a good WordPress template. It’s $10 a month for hosting (or less!). If you and your employees dominate the first page you’re way ahead of the game.

October 10th 2015 Reputation Management

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