Building a Powerful Personal Brand on Social Media
With Karlyn Ankrom
Social media–love it or hate it, it’s an essential part of doing business online. Many entrepreneurs fall firmly into the latter category, but our latest podcast is here to share an easier, more enjoyable approach to growing your brand on social.
Karlyn Ankrom is the Founder of Oh Snap! Social and creator of the Fan Firestarter Framework, a new approach to social media marketing made specifically for businesses “tempted to fake their own death and flee to Tahiti at the mere thought of content creation.”
Karlyn developed her user-friendly strategy after working for a decade with a variety of brick-and-mortar businesses that were “social allergic”, as she calls it–not because they didn’t want to do social media but because they were intimidated by it. In response, her system helps newbies get on the fast track to “unsucking their social media” in just one hour per week.
The Fan Firestarter Framework
After working for a series of start-ups and then a branding agency, Karlyn developed her own framework for social media success, which she now uses with all Oh Snap! Social clients. Everyone goes through the same system, from solopreneurs to CEOs of large companies.
The first step is a pulse-check audit, to see what’s working and what’s not. From there, Karlyn and her team work with the client to develop a strategy specific to their business goals. She asks her clients to think beyond vanity metrics like their number of followers and instead focus on the “why” behind their social media content–what outcome are they hoping to achieve by posting?
From there, they move into the final stage, advancement, with either done-for-you or done-with-you social media posting.
Which Metrics Are Worth Measuring?
To Karlyn, the most important success metric for social media is website traffic. She thinks of social as the “conversation water cooler”, but the goal is always to bring that traffic over to the client’s website and/or email list. Google Analytics and referral traffic take priority.
Other important metrics include how many quality conversations you’re having in the DMs, how many profile visits your content is generating, and how many new people are discovering you through your content. The last two are especially important for newer businesses looking to grow their visibility and reach.
Lastly, Karlyn recommends looking at your metrics to see which content is resonating the most with your audience, so you can create more posts like that in the future.
Growing Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn
Karlyn has had a lot of success building personal brands on LinkedIn, both for her clients and herself. One of the key strategies she uses is to publish SEO-friendly articles based on what her audience is searching for. She also recommends incorporating keywords into your LinkedIn bio and profile. Think about what terms your audience is searching for, then include those words wherever you can.
When it comes to social media, personal brands win out over company brands. Even when Karlyn’s clients publish content through their business profiles, she always asks specific people to share the post and add comments. Profile pictures are also important–make sure your photo is updated and that it’s a headshot, not a company logo.
The Future of Social
One of the major trends Karlyn has noticed in recent years is people want the internet to feel “smaller” and less noisy. With so many of us suffering from information overload, social media users are more interested in finding smaller groups with content that feels relevant and relatable to them.
This explains the rise of niche communities like Discord and Slack channels. More and more people are moving off of larger platforms like Facebook and Instagram and into smaller groups.
There have also been major shifts in the industry with the advancement of AI. At this stage, Karlyn says it’s not enough to replace human-written content for one simple reason: AI-generated content doesn’t capture your brand. Your unique voice is what makes content real and relatable to your followers, and ChatGPT can’t compete with that level of human connection (at least not yet). For now, Karlyn recommends being a “smart user” of AI and using it more for brainstorming than writing or strategy.
Enjoy this episode with Oh Snap! Social Founder Karlyn Ankrom…
“I realized that a lot of the news that was out there was bad news. And I don’t have the heart for bad news all the time.”
“Would I be okay if I didn’t do this? When I’m eighty, am I going to be like, I really wish I’d started that business? Regret is so powerful.”
“A lot of that seasonality from a business perspective, we do not control as business owners. Just like we don’t control the algorithms of social media, we don’t control the behaviors of our buyers, or the economics of what’s happening in the world.”
“I think the best thing about social media is that it’s very forgiving. People expect it to be very real and raw and relatable–and they don’t want it to be overly produced because it doesn’t feel as real to them so they’ll ignore it.”
“The vanity metrics truly don’t matter. Followers don’t matter…my goal is always to connect the digital dots from social, which is kind of that conversation water cooler, over to your website. I look at Google Analytics and that referral traffic first.”
“Personal brand is where it’s at on LinkedIn.”
“People do business with other people, not logos.”
“Make it easy for people to give you money.”
“You can build a business utilizing Facebook but at some point, you have to have real estate on the internet that you own in the form of a website. It doesn’t need to be overly fancypants if people are connecting with you on Facebook, but they need to have a place, a home base, a storefront that you own. Because you don’t own Facebook.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Oh Snap! Social Website: https://ohsnapsocial.com
Connect with Karlyn Ankrom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karlynankrom
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