Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Using Social Media to Brand Yourself?

So how do you best brand yourself using Social Media?

We have been discussing all day today ways to brand yourself through the use of Social Media. I sat in a room with a number of other professionals from different educational and business backgrounds and everyone agreed on the fact that in order to make yourself, your business or your products you need to increase your digital footprint. So the discussions then moved to the how aspect of branding.
Making yourself Stand out from the crowd, using different unconventional methods to get your point across. So what do you use to do this, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and other forms of social media?
Be an expert at something. Choose something that you are working on or have a passion for and learn as much as you can about it and then get the word out. Use all of these forms of social media to get the information out to people and increase your base of knowledge while gathering in people to help you fill in the blanks.
Concentrate on the contacts you make. In business we always have heard about networking with others to meet and interact with other professionals from similar and different fields. In the past this was done in a face to face setting. Well lets come into the 21st century and start doing the same thing but on the web. Lets use Twitter to broadcast out and gather up information about topics you are interested in. Use Blogs to give your opinion about technologies, gadgets, ideas and information that others can comment on and could redistribute out to others. Other social media outlets like Facebook where you can create fan pages dedicated to what your interests are which allow others to see what you have to say and to send you information as well.

The biggest thing that I can say I have gotten so far is that the more you brand yourself through the use of social media the wider your base of knowledge to pull from and share out information.


Emory said...

Hey Evan,
I enjoyed the post and have been interested in the ways technology tools can increase learning and make teaching more collaborative.

I guess the one part that concerns me (and I realize it might just be semantics)is the term "branding". "Branding" and "creating a brand" sound like vocabulary associated with businesses. And one of the current issues in education seems to be the desire to apply business models and practices on schools and classrooms. This is a practice that I think needs to be resisted. So while I agree with a lot you had to say about the advantages to using twitter, blogs and other social media for learning opportunities I would hesitate to pull in language that would evoke business in the role of teaching.

Again, I'm not jumping on you because I think the post is a good one just wondering about business terminology seeping in education.
Am I off on this one?

Marlo Gaddis said...


As I read your comment, I found myself smiling and imagining this debate in our old office. So in the spirit of the past, I respectfully disagree with you. I think one issue we have as educators is wanting to keep education separate from the rest of the world. We resist the naming or creating of any practices that are in line with the business world. But if we are really about developing our students and making them career or college ready, shouldn't we be acting and talking MORE like business? Shouldn't we be teaching our students how to have that creative right-brained business brain that Daniel Pink talks so much about? The business landscape is changing ahead of the educational world. It is our job to embrace the practices that have value and discern those that are not. Whether we in education use the term "branding" or not makes it no less true for others outside our walls. Whether we like it or not, what we do in and out of our buildings, on the web, and anywhere else creates a picture of our values, our beliefs, and our devotion to students.

I embrace the business world weaving in and out of education now. If we are wise, we will take the best parts and make them ours and learn how to throw away the rest.

Emory said...

Good points. And while I realize that I'm turning the conversation even further from Evan's original post, I think my issue is the business model is not a good fit for schools because our classrooms aren't producing products but hopefully good citizens. And business models, in many cases seems to go hand and hand with the culture of standardized testing that I think Dan Pink would argue are harmful for our schools.

Maybe the question I should ask is which businesses are we modeling ourselves after and to what end. And who decides which parts of business practices we use in our schools.

Thanks for the good conversation. It makes me miss being right outside your office :)