SLA 2014: ‘I Am Not a Brand!’: Building Your Personal and Professional Profile

by Mary Ellen Bates

You’re a Brand

  • it’s how you show up
  • it’s not what you intended to do, it’s what people see what they interact with them
  • it’s what you’re known for
  • it’s what Google shows about you, you need to show up, because they expect you to be there

Your Message

  • an empty result is a message too
  • email signature file
  • cover memo
  • internal website bio
  • pictures and descriptions
  • recent projects, successes
  • even attendance of conferences
  • where you volunteer, it’s not who you know, it’s who knows you and how they perceive you
  • social media

Why Get Social

  • it’s like looking in a phone book, people expect you to show up where they expect you to
  • need to be as findable as possible
  • 40-80% companies used social media to research job candidates

What Matters?

  • 57% professional image
  • 50% good personality
  • 50% wide range of interests
  • 49% background & qualifications
  • 46% creativity – if also have the ability to do the future job

Be Smart

  • keep updates public, but remember that it’s public
  • no political rants (or pick your battles) – be willing to live with consequences if you post
  • easy on the family & vacation photos – okay, but be moderate
  • “about me” updated with professional photo
  • post regularly
  • be authentic
  • create and lead a group if you really want to establish yourself as an expert
  • link with all clients and colleagues
  • give recommendations – shows support, care about the profession
  • post comments, retweet – forward what other people are saying

Ideas on What to Say

  • insights from a conference
  • read others’ blogs, tweets
  • learn (take a class, volunteer)
  • ask questions, conduct a survey
  • share everything – gets more out there even if it’s copied

What to Say

  • what are you passions? what gets you excited?
  • what do you want your next employer to know about you?

For Organizations

  • people tune out fast
  • need to talk about why, not what and in readable ways e.g. “We search premium databases”, no!, change it to “We expand your horizons beyond Google” / “We have a wide range of databases” to “We provide global insights with unfiltered results unlike Google” / “I’m a librarian” to “I enable the discovery of new knowledge”
  • talk about results
  • figure out your value proposition
  • see how others do it (especially vendors who have invested in it, make use of it)
  • it’s not all about you – benefits to users, not features; results, not activity

SLA 2014: Social Media for Everyone: How to Use New Tools in Innovative Ways

by Cheryl Yanek  @cherylkathleen

How? & Things to think about

  • need multiple platforms, to be everywhere, reach everyone
  • need to be selective in what to post where, and use different tones depending on platform
  • keep in mind what your audience is, and demographics of the platform
  • understand different subcultures
  • want to create meaningful relationships
  • think about how to engage i.e. something to be retweeted, discussion on linkedin, picture to share on tumblr, article on G+
  • should you be there?
  • learn the rules of the subcultures
  • trends happen really fast, so you need to be on it from the start
  • might need to educate others so that they understand social media
  • need to stand out & engage
  • about creating community, comment on what others are saying

How to Say It

  • plan to fail
  • be willing to take risks
  • turn your failures into learning situations
  • better for people to be angry (really?!) than
  • write short posts
  • think of your audience as insiders
  • be authentic
  • make it personal
  • make them believe in your mission
  • make it entertaining


  • always look at the demographics


  • texting for kids?
  • share messages
  • examples:
    ** share coupons that had to be used instantly
    ** reveal new product/secret menu item


  • front page of the internet
  • can be upvoted
  • most popular along 18-29 male
  • like things to be transparent
  • self-promotion is frowned upon
  • interact vs. shouting at them
  • others can jump in for you, only need to add where you can
  • a lot of sub-reddits on specific topics
  • don’t promote yourself more than 5-10%
  • might already be community (sub-reddit) that exists where you can fit


  • part blog, part FB
  • blogging but with a lot more media
  • half of users under 25
  • very engaged audience
  • a lot of hashtag use
  • really easy to use
  • FAQs (ask a question feature)


  • way to share pictures
  • 90% under 35
  • 68% are female
  • tell visual stories
  • have a lot of filters that you can play with


  • way to share pictures
  • 84% are female
  • 2/3 over 35
  • what images are worthy of being shared
  • can work together with instagram
  • brand all your images
  • contests


  • most users in 20s
  • 6 second videos
  • potential for how-to videos
  • share successes
  • super easy to use
  • great for contests
  • 4x more likely to be shared than other videos


  • check in to locations
  • share with friends what you’re doing
  • 60% male
  • 60% 18-29
  • very easy to work with
  • share tips
  • when have events, brand and let people check in, can create badges
  • free advertising because normally linked to twitter or fb


  • heavily male
  • what you do on G+ is related to your google search
  • provides higher visibility
  • if make public chats & events, then will show up in search results
  • but they’re always changing things
  • can target certain demographics based on circles

Make Use of It

  • embed
  • share
  • as contact
  • add homepage in information
  • talk about things that are inspiring or relevant

Buzzfeed & Upworthy

  • lists and trends, anyone can create it, promote it
  • about social justice, can’t contribute, but can connect


  • need to measure and track data
  • use both hard and soft metrics
  • what were the topics that got the best reach?
  • what was the sentiment?
  • share highlights and successes internally

Improving Your Current Use

  • listen more, to see what people are talking about, quotes to share, relevant news
  • engage and interact with influencers
  • what social media are being used in different regions?
  • 2-3 posts is the recommended amount, scheduled tweets
  • graphic/embedded posts e.g. thoughtcatalogue
  • don’t do it yourself
  • start bite-sized
  • you can experiment personally first
  • RSS feeds/newsletters to keep on top of trends (see slide)