This week I continued to track my social media use for the month. To be completely honest I will admit it has started to feel somewhat repetitive and I haven’t necessarily noticed any drastic changes in my social media use. During my time abroad, I have noticed how much I rely on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to not only keep up to date with my family and friends, but mostly to give my followers the opportunity to take a look into my life and my experiences.
Although I have only been tracking my Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter use, because in my opinion they are the four most commonly used platforms, I have also used various other platforms that I haven’t yet mentioned to build my personal brand. Instead of repeating my general reactions to my social media log for this last week, I want to open up about the other platforms I use in order to learn more about my own personal brand.
I find myself using WordPress frequently during my time abroad. Whether that be because I have to for uni work or just because I enjoy documenting my trip, I really like the format of the platform. Being able to write about my experiences as well as attaching photos to remind myself of each trip has really had a strong impact on my time while abroad. This blog has allowed to me to really open up to my followers in a vulnerable manner, and although I don’t share every single personal thing in my posts mostly because my parents follow the account, I truly believe my blog posts are authentic and pure representations of my experiences. I don’t allow myself the ability to edit my appearance or personal self in these posts like I can with Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, and have aimed to be truthfully authentic. I have attached the link to my travel blog at the top of my Instagram travel account.
I have mentioned my Instagram travel account numerous times throughout my social media logs each week. It really has become a huge part of my everyday social media use while i’ve been in Australia. I decided to create my account prior to coming here to influence myself to constantly document my time while traveling. How is this account different from my normal account? I use this account to post more frequently about my meals, experiences, day excursions, stories, etc. In addition, I haven’t publicly shared this account with all of my followers from my main Instagram account, so it’s more personalized. Another reason for this is because I don’t need my thousands of unfamiliar followers having access to my whereabouts and being able to read my blog posts, because most of them are very personal.
I post a lot more photos on my travel account. At least for me, constantly posting pictures on my main Instagram account of myself, my meals, my activities etc. can quickly become obnoxious or make it seem as if i’m overly self consumed. When I see other girls constantly posting photos of themselves it comes off as if they are bragging about their beauty or experiences. This may sound superficial, but that’s why I don’t like to post everything and anything I do and experience to my main account. Instead I use my travel account as a blog with tons of photos for the people that are genuinely interested, and my main account for the best photo from each experience.
So how does this account help my personal brand grow and thrive if not all my followers have access to it? I have tailored the account so that only the people that I want follow it have access to it. This is mostly my close network of friends and family members. I have learned that the importance of one’s personal brand isn’t all about competing with the thousands of people that we interact with online. Instead, at least to me, my online presence and persona really only matters to the certain people I care about sharing it with.
Think about it…When you post an Instagram or Facebook post and look for the comments and likes, you aren’t looking for the strangers that give your posts attention, instead you are looking for the people in your life who matter, whether that be family, close friends or employees/employers.
Through my research on personal branding, I have found that a lot of one’s personal brand is very much relevant to employers and standing out in the job market. I consider my LinkedIn account another form of social media that I use frequently. I use this platform to keep in touch with my friends and their progressions with internships and summer jobs while I have been gone. I also have used it to update employers that I have been studying for a semester in Australia, expanding my Network connections as well as adding a spark to my resume. I have even found myself messaging employers in Australia as well as responding to employers from home who have reached out.
Ending Week 4 of logging my Social Media use and how it effects my personal brand, I have been able to learn a lot about myself. I will share my overall reactions to the process in my Contextual Essay which will be posted as my fifth and final blog post.