Hootsuite U Chat Benefits Higher-Ed

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We have seen many Twitter chat sessions emerge for many different fields – whether it is for public relations education (#PRProfChat) or even blogging (#BlogChat), there are many to choose from. One I recommend for anyone working, teaching or consulting in social media would be the Hootsuite University Chat session on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. EST, or otherwise known as #HSUChat.

I had a fellow professional and IMC graduate student Colin who reminded me to be part of the Hootsuite University #HSUChat session. The topic for today’s session was focusing on personal branding – and it was led by Barbara Nixon. I’ve participated in various Twitter chat sessions, but this was probably one of the most engaged and dynamic ones! Wow – this was quite the experience soaking in all of knowledge and information pertaining to personal branding.Hootsuite U Blog
All of the conversations during this one hour chat session really brought forth an interesting question – how do you manage your personal brand? What are some elements to consider and what are some steps that need to be taken to be most proactive in this for yourself?

I think all of the points highlighted in the chat session were not only relevant for professors, students and fellow professionals to be aware of, but also consider how this could be applied to your own brand.
There are two questions that Colin brought up that really hit this point home for me; all social media professionals have to ask themselves when it comes to their personal brand: what are you passionate about and what is the one subject people ask you for advice upon on a regular basis?

This is important to consider, and realizing that this may be different from one person and another. The way we have to approach this as a professor in the classroom is not to transform our students to be a single, branded professional. Rather, we need to be explorers to determine what makes them unique and interesting and how to give them the best tools to help them establish themselves online with their personal brand.

If I were to add a third question to the mix for personal brand – I would have added this: What characteristics, experiences and perspectives do you have that make you different from others in the field?

Identifying this gap – this opportunity essentially – for students, professionals and even professors is key. We want to see different perspectives and hear unique voices; voices from which we have not heard before. We want to hear these different voices shared, experiences and stories that have not yet been told as well as personality. If we are able to embrace what makes us who we are and combine this with our passion in the professional field of social media – well, look out world!

As a professor, this is what I have tried to do in each of my classes for my students. Yes, it is hard to determine what is unique about us and how to strategically position ourselves online, and this does not happen overnight. Think of it as a training workout you engage in on a regular basis. Not just once a week – this is a full-time investment and commitment you make for your personal brand. It takes time, energy, and there are of course ups and downs along the way. Look at how an Olympic athlete competes – they don’t decide one day they will compete at the Olympic Games. Rather, they hone their skills and work hard to better themselves each and every day.

Doing a little bit each day pays off so much in the long run. This was one lesson I did learn while I was a shot putter – both in high school and college – and this has served me well as I have started on this new chapter of my career as a professor, researcher and consultant.

I’d like to thank the team at Hootsuite University and everyone who participated in the #HSUChat session on personal branding – especially Barbara Nixon. For fellow professors who are interested in social media or teach/research in the area, make sure to check out #HSUChat not only for your own personal benefit, but for your students and fellow colleagues as well.

Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us on personal branding and extending the conversation for all of us on social media. I will make sure to check in for another great chat next week.

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