Yes, the term “personal brand” is a cheesy buzzword, but its concept is legit. Research has linked a strong online presence to better career opportunities, and sharing photos and ideas on social media can encourage community and debate. The downside? The constant act of performing your best life can make you feel more insecure than you were on your first day of high school. “Bolstering our public image on social media can enhance our self-doubt and worries about being imposters in our own lives,” says Karen North, professor of social media at University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Here’s how to walk the line.
Find a posts-per-day sweet spot. Instagram fitness star Anna Victoria recommends three to six. Any more feels spammy; any less and you may be lost in the Insta content vortex.
Accept that you are not a Kardashian. Your to-do list should not include taking 1,500 selfies a day. But one a day could make you happier, concludes a recent study from the University of California, Irvine. Researchers found that students who struck a smiling pose once a day and shared it with friends grew more “confident and comfortable” with their photos.
Keep it real. We don’t want to see a photo of you cleaning Fluffy’s litter box, but if a post feels authentic, you’ll probably be happier and your followers will respond. Better yet, get Fluffy his own Insta handle à la Boo the Pomeranian and embrace your inner stage mom.
Remember: What you post will live forever. Even if you trash-canned that video of you doing your best Journey impression at your bachelorette karaoke, many sites simply archive deleted photos or save them on a server. Recruiters are watching: According to a 2015 Workopolis survey, 63 percent of Canadian employers scour the social-media profiles of potential candidates.
This article originally appeared in the January 2017 issue of ELLE Canada.