When you look at the digital media landscape these days, it is easy to understand what Canadian thinker Marshall McLuhan meant when he coined his famous phrase about the medium being the message in the mid-1960s. McLuhan would be the first to admit that there are various ways to flip this meaning around; for example, you could argue that the overall vibe and character of a social network is ultimately defined by the content posted by users, thus making messages the determinants of the medium.
In order to be more adequate and effective, personal branding needs to be mindful of the medium. Let’s say a dance choreographer wants to get noticed; her best bet these days would be TikTok because this is a social network that evolved from lip-syncing to highlighting short videos of dance moves. An activist whose views lean towards the left end of the political spectrum should not consider a platform such as Gab because it has mostly attracted individuals who veer towards the opposite end of the spectrum.
The five digital media channels listed below have managed to attract broad appeal, and this has factored into their success. If your personal brand needs to project a professionals image, you will find the following digital spaces conducive to your intent:
What started off as a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet in 2006 has grown into a place where business, technology, and finance come together. Setting up a profile on Crunchbase can go a long way towards getting a job in the tech industry, but it can also help you make the right connections in case you decide to become an entrepreneur whose startup projects require seed funding.
By virtue of being a visual social network, Instagram is the kind of place where you mostly communicate through images and video. This is great for professionals who work in the fields of beauty, fashion, and entertainment, but it may not appeal as much to professionals in other careers such as accounting. In order to build a solid brand on Instagram you will need to find ways to make your messages visually appealing.
As the largest and most reliable business social network in the world, LinkedIn is no longer just a place where you can look for a new job. A LinkedIn profile is like a custom business card and curriculum vitae combined; however, the more important aspect of this network is how vibrant it has become in terms of connecting business-minded individuals.
Despite only having a fraction of Facebook or Instagram users, Twitter has been able to position itself as the most relevant social network thanks to its considerable news media user base. People turn to Twitter when they want to know about what is happening around the world, and you should keep this in mind when building your brand here.
Although the online platform Medium was mostly created for writers, it has attracted professionals from all fields who love to express themselves through their writing. You do not have to write creatively or with flourish to attract readers; nonetheless, it would be a good idea to have someone taking care of editing before your Medium posts go live.