21 Social Media Rules for Personal Branding



July 16, 2013 (Updated: May 4, 2023)

The first thing many aspiring writers, designers, and photographers do to promote themselves is set up social media accounts for their brands. With the variety of platforms available the way you use them should vary. Be sure to cater your voice to fit the site and audience you’re speaking to, or you could end up alienating more fans than you attract.


1. Keep personal matters personal.

Save your relationship troubles and personal woes for your profile, your page is all about your brand. Yes, you should be personal with your posts, but don’t make your page an online dumping ground.

2. No one likes talking to a wall.

If someone takes his or her precious time to leave a comment on a post, take the time to respond. Your fans bothered to like your page, don’t ignore them. 

3. Don’t spam your friends.

We have all received invitations to like pages that we don’t want to follow. If your friends ignored the invitation to like your page the first time around, they will definitely ignore it the second time.

4. Be yourself.

People like your brand for you, so don’t be afraid to add your personality into posts. Some of the most successful brand Facebook accounts are the most personable. Let Facebook be a reflection of your life and let your personality shine.


5. Don’t be a robot with automatic DMs.

The joy of getting a notification is crushed when they see it’s an automated DM. The human element is the most vital part of social media. If you want to than someone for following, create a personal message.

6. Add personality to your tweets.

Your personality is part of your brand, whether you’re funny, sarcastic, dry or vividly colorful. No wants to follow accounts that tweet out headlines accompanied with links. Interact and let the twitterverse get to know you.

7. Don’t saturate your wall by over-tweeting.

One of the worst things you can do in any conversation is talk too much. Don’t be the only one having a conversation, you may have a lot to say but take your time and space your tweets out. Plus, if you tweet too frequently in a short time frame, you could get flagged as spam.

8. Use hashtags tastefully.

You won’t grow your audience if you hashtag stuff. Be creative and try using them in a natural way instead of adding a string at the end. Also, double check to make sure your hashtags aren’t misleading or accidentally inappropriate.

9. Reply in a timely manner.

The rule of thumb is to reply to a tweet or DM in less than 24 hours. This is true for all social platforms but even more so for Twitter. With only 140 characters in a Tweet, it shouldn’t take a long time to reply. Having a quick response rate shows your fans that you care, and they are more likely to interact with you in the future.


10. It’s business not personal.

Approach LinkedIn as a social resume. You want to connect with people that can endorse your skills, not endorse your drinking ability.

11. Show Interest in your industry.

While your profile is professional, you can still show your personality by uploading relevant articles to your industry and explaining why you like them. Join groups and conversations about news and trends to position yourself as an authority – or build credibility if you’re just starting out.

12. Endorse people who you’ve actually worked with.

Don’t endorse someone who you have never worked with or even worse never met. Instead, find classmates and colleagues and endorse their strengths. Endorsing someone in hopes that they endorse you back won’t add value to your profile. A strong recommendation is worth infinitely more than a cheap endorsement.

13. Personalize your connection requests.

Personalize your invitations instead of sending the copy that LinkedIn provides. Jogging their memory with, “It was nice meeting you at XYZ event,” will make you stand out over other requested connections.

14. Accurately describe yourself.

Don’t act like something your not. If you are in an entry level position, do not state that you are in a senior position. This will not only offend your supervisor but also mislead others and make you look like a fake. If you are a freelancer, wave your title loud and proud, you never know when you can connect with a future client.

15. Spelling counts.

LinkedIn holds the utmost weight on spelling and professionalism. Typos are unacceptable on a resume and they are just as unwelcome on your LinkedIn profile.


16. Stop with the selfies.

If you create an Instagram account to showcase your work, keep it devoid of mirror shots. You’re not using Instagram to bring attention to your attractive face (unless you’re promoting modeling services) and no one likes a self-absorbed person.

17. Be creative.

Instagram gives the normal person the opportunity to show their creative side. With a variety of filters to choose from, an everyday picture can turn into a piece of art. Show your personality by varying the types of photos and their style.

18. Follow back.

Just because you’re building your brand doesn’t mean you shouldn’t follow people back. You’re not Justin Bieber just yet.

All of the Above

19. Update regularly.

This should go without saying, but many people create brand pages and then ignore them after a few days or weeks. Don’t create a social media account that you can’t keep up with. You’re damaging your reputation and wasting your fans’ time.

20. Know where you are.

Different platforms call for different approaches in content and voice. Know where you are in each of the social media sites and use the tool accordingly.

21. Be courteous.

Each of these forums provides you a different opportunity to express yourself in slightly different ways. The one constant on any platform is to be courteous to everyone who you interact with.

What advice would you give to people looking to promote their personal brand?

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