In 2018, social media is unavoidable for anyone craving to be more accessible to the public and create a personal brand. Time and time again, it has been proven that people with strong, well-branded social media presences have become widely more successful than those that don’t, social media has become an intricate part of everyday life.

Social media, in that way, is explicitly important for those trying to build a positive reputation. From celebrities to bloggers, everyone is plugged into social media. So, professionals must learn from others in their field to create a compelling social media presence.

So, how would an iron-clad journalist transfer their skills for prose and professionalism into the world of 140-character Tweets and Snapchat filters?

Develop a Personal Brand

Who are you? What do you stand for? What do you fight for? All of these questions encompass one idea – personal branding. Brand Yourself explains that “your personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you YOU” and that “effective personal branding will differentiate you from other professionals in your field.”

As a journalist, it is vital to tap into your niche. What do you write about? That very factor could greatly impact how you brand yourself to the public and the world of social media. Don’t worry if you don’t have a specific niche – just take some time to compile your skills, beliefs, and experiences to cultivate who you want to be online!

Stay Present

For journalists, it is easy to think that social media does not apply to you. Why would you spend your time building your brand on Instagram? Why would you sketch a clever, compelling caption when you could be writing scathing articles?

Journalism, and its industry, is rapidly changing. An article published by the University of Oxford’s Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism cited this change by noting, “Like it or not, the journalist of the future has to be more technology-savvy as news organizations become more digital-centric.”

Newspapers, while not going out of style, are adapting to twenty-first-century technology by interacting with the public they serve via these news channels and making their newspapers available digitally – an action that not only reduces the company’s environmental footprint but also is easier for the consumer.

As a journalist, you must learn to walk the same line. So, the first rule of social media use for journalists is to be present . Have an active Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or shake it up with YouTube or Snapchat. Whichever media you choose, stick with it and remember you are a professional even on the Internet – in some ways, especially on the Internet.

Be Active

Like anyone attempting to “make it” on social media, one of the biggest criteria for success for journalists attempting to thrive on social media is to be active. So, post often and post consistently. If you are not active, how can you expect to build your brand? It is as simple as deciding who you want to be to the public and portraying it through the content you provide.

A journalist should, then, create content that both speaks to Millennials and the iGeneration and emphasizes who they are as a journalist. So, if you focus on the economy, maybe tweet a few shorthand, striking statistics, and if you crave to embody feminism, try capturing a beautiful photo and adding an inspirational quote. Yet again, your social media presence is directly tied to your personal brand.

Social media can be a tool for a journalist, but they have to reach out and use it. Luckily, it isn’t hard at all to tap into the potential it holds. To stay just as relevant on the web as on the page develop a strong personal brand, stay present, and be active. Heed these steps, and you’ll quickly connect with younger readers. Not only that, but you will have a beautifully crafted personal brand that will help you expand your professional career!