What Taylor Swift Can Teach You About Personal Branding on Social Media

Taylor Swift is the master of the personal brand, particularly on social media. She cleverly uses her social media profiles -- Twitter, Facebook, Instgram, YouTube and Tumblr -- to showcase her unique brand that portrays her as open, genuine, caring and passionate about causes close to her heart -- like aspiring music artists.

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Nearly everything she does comes back to these elements and the result is her fans adoring her, sharing her posts and buying her music.

Her personal brand has become so powerful that her recent Tumblr post addressed "To Apple, Love Taylor" got Apple's CEO to back down on Apple not paying royalties to musicians during the three-month free trial of their new music streaming service.

With massive amounts of followers over many social media platforms, Taylor's criticism about Apple's decision went viral and became a social media frenzy. This example shows how effective social media is in showcasing your personal brand, and also how to use your personal brand to influence and create change.

You may not be a superstar, but you can take a page from Taylor's book and use social media cleverly to build your personal brand. Here are some tips to get you started.

Choose your platform wisely

With so many social media platforms to choose from it can be difficult to decide which one is the most effective. It's a good idea to begin with one or two until you have mastered how to use them effectively. Each social media platform can be used differently and each will help you achieve different goals.

For instance, Tumblr is an online community where people can share and interact with each other over a huge range of topics. There are a lot of niche interests to be found on Tumblr, and this could be the ideal site for people with unique areas of expertise.

Likewise, Twitter is a great way to promote ideas, link to important issues in the media and attract a multitude of followers depending on your interests and use of hashtags.

Do some research on to how best utilise each social media site and how it can best help you build your brand.

Define your expertise

It's really important to define your area of expertise as this will help you showcase your knowledge in a particular area. Whether it's positioning yourself as an expert or building a community around your personal brand, setting this goal will help determine your social media activities as well as help measure your overall success.

Taylor Swift's brand defines not only her talents as an artist but also her personality. She is someone who wants to help upcoming artists as well as interact with her fans on a personal level. Her generosity and goodwill is a huge part of her personal brand. More importantly, this is mirrored across all her social media platforms.

Have a strategy

If you use social media without a purpose or a strategy you will waste a lot of time. This usually occurs when you spend hours looking through your social media accounts and are unsure what to post or comment on. You need a social media strategy to help you define your goals and objectives for using social media and to make the most of your time spent on each platform. Your strategy will help you define what to post, when to post it, who will be in charge of posting, how to reply to comments and how to measure your engagement.

For instance, there is no point having an account with Tumblr, if you don't blog, or share, or a Twitter account if you only tweet occasionally.

So like Taylor Swift, if you want to make the most of social media, be yourself and have clear goals in mind about who you want to reach and why. Before you know it, your personal brand will be flourishing and you'll be a superstar in your own right!

Catriona Pollard is the author of From Unknown To Expert, a step by step framework designed to help entrepreneurs develop effective PR and social media strategies to become recognised as influencers in their field. www.unknowntoexpert.com

Catriona is also the director of CP Communications, which merges traditional PR tactics with cutting-edge social media strategies that engage consumers as well as business. www.cpcommunications.com.au