Social media

Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • explore the digital footprint you leave online
  • explore different social media platforms and their uses.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • understand privacy concerns when using social media
  • use social media effectively to enhance learning and improve your online brand.

3. Improve your online brand


Self-branding is a term coined by Tom Peters in his 1997 article “The Brand Called You”. According to Peters, everyone has the power to be their own brand and it is each person’s responsibility to promote their brand. But if that is true, how do you successfully market yourself to others?

Social media is an excellent way to promote yourself for a variety of reasons, including content marketing or social selling. It provides you with a way to reach your target audience, build your brand and influence people. Some social media users become influencers, who have established credibility in a specific area and have access to a large audience. 

If you are planning to build your personal brand on social media there are also some things you should do for the greatest exposure. Firstly, decide which platforms to concentrate on. It is tempting to try to use all social media platforms to promote your brand but it is important to remember that not every social network is right for you. Check which social media platforms fit your content, knowledge or expertise and then direct your efforts to those platforms. For example, for an artist wanting to share and promote their work, Instagram or Flickr might be a good option. Your photos can be shared with other people who have an interest in arts and culture. 

Steps to build your personal brand on social media

It might be preferable to create an account specifically for professional use, rather than using your private social media accounts.

  1. Identify your goal. Do you want to showcase your talents, sell something, get a great job?
  2. Search for industry leaders or experts in your area to see what platforms they use
  3. Use a tool to search for trends or top posts on your topic. Try Social Searcher (searches across a range of social media platforms) or Twitter advanced search
  4. Plan some interesting or informative content to post
  5. After you identify experts, popular or active users, write about them, or topics they are interested in, to attract their attention, or their followers attention, to your content.

Go to Google Social Search and run a search on your topic.

Choose the platforms you want to search, such as LinkedIn or Instagram. Can you identify an interesting or useful user or company to follow?

Once you have your social media accounts organised, make sure you post regularly, but not excessively. Too many posts may annoy your audience. A good number would be around 3 or 4 posts each week and ensure you make the posts engaging by writing posts that you would want to read if others had posted them.

Build a community by:

  • being kind to others and positive in your posts. This way you will be creating and promoting a good self-image of yourself and you will be more likely to appeal to followers
  • encouraging interactions, comments and authenticity
  • engaging with people who are interested in you and your work.

Creating a personal brand on social media requires a lot of time, commitment and planning to work well. It won’t happen overnight but, with patience and research, you will be able to build yourself a personal brand with a number of followers.

Designing a purposeful personal brand from zero to infinity (YouTube, 10m7s)

Duration:   Approximately 20 minutes

Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

Effective communication Effective communication

 Ethical and social understanding

Check your knowledge

Check what you know about this topic:

Take the quiz

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