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5 steps to building (and protecting) your social media brand



Global Business Journalism reporter

Nowadays,more people live in the virtual land of Facebook, WeChat, Weibo, WhatsApp and Douyin than in the world's most populous nation, China.

Social media has, in a decade, become the global town hall. It has shunted aside previous mass media such as television, newspapers, radio, movie theaters – even telephone chats – as a source of information, entertainment and gossip.

Because social media posts are consumed everywhere, by almost everyone, people are increasingly likely to rely on these digital platforms, rather than mainstream news outlets, for information. As social media becomes increasingly influential, for good and for ill, journalists need to learn how to use it more effectively.

Here are five basic tips for improving your social media presence:

Step 1: Focus on Your Audience.

Think of who is your audience and what they need. Give the audience information they have never seen anywhere or give readers a bit of insight that they have never contemplated before.

Step 2: Post Updates Regularly (But Not Too Often).

There is too much information posted on social media platforms. You need to create a persona and post regularly – but not so often that your fans get oversaturated. You want to post information and insights that make your audience remember you.

Step 3: Use Simple Words and Short Sentences to Tell Your Story.

Audiences have limited patience on social media. Keep your posts simple and easy to understand. Choose your words carefully. Communicate clearly. Short sentences are better than long ones. Write conversationally. And remember that you are allowed to be clever.

Step 4: Use Different Multimedia Formats on Different Social Media Platforms.

You should know what the best media format is for each platform,. Adapt your reporting and storytelling to take advantage of it. For example, YouTube uses video storytelling. Instagram is a good place for your stunning photo gallery. LinkedIn is more formal and focused on professional networking and brand building. Douyin (TikTok) is the hot place for short videos. Matching the medium to the message can make your reports more widely viewed and shared.

Step 5: Tell the Truth. Lies are unacceptable.

Sharing unverified information is irresponsible. Spreading rumors in unprofessional. Spreading falsehoods is harmful. Your reputation is on the line every time you post on social media.

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