The social web is now woven into almost every nook and cranny of our personal and business lives. How we look online has become an important component of our persona and who we are in a digital world.

So creating, polishing and taking control of your personal brand online is now essential for the modern professional. The content you create on social media now defines you, and social networks amplify your content creations as people discover and share them.

If you want to continue to be effective and relevant, there’s no other choice. Jobs, careers and businesses are being created, driven and determined by the social web.

Your personal brand and how you control and define it have become vital. Starting your own online brand with your own blog or website as a hub will be the journey of a lifetime. It will evolve just like your career. So what social media outlet should you be using to build a powerful personal brand online that will enhance your career?

Twitter: Recent research shows that Twitter’s role is much more than sharing breaking news in 140-character snippets. It is now a social network that gives online influencers a platform to share their content and build powerful distribution globally.

LinkedIn: Many people and businesses incorrectly use LinkedIn. Number one tip: Add value to your connections through sharing great content that you create and discover. Also make sure your LinkedIn profile is a good representation of your personal brand. Join groups that will enhance your online presence. Use it to create powerful personal business networks.

SlideShare: Creating presentations and sharing them on SlideShare is a great enhancer for a personal brand. It positions you as an expert, because experts present. It’s also very visual, and visual content is shared more than just text.

Mobile-centric platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Vine should also be considered. There are some new entrants including Meerkat and Periscope. Live video streaming is predicted to feature in the future.

Building that personal brand online is not a zero-sum game. Start creating content today and build distribution for it on your social networks. In 10 years’ time, you will be way ahead of your peers and have a bank of great content.

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