10 Ways Veterans Can Create Focused Social Media Positioning

Imagine starting a new fitness routine. They weren’t really looking to lose weight, get in shape, or achieve any other specific goal.

You couldn’t commit to being in the gym a certain number of hours per week and really didn’t know what weights or machines would serve you best. After all, you have no destination, remember?

You work on this new routine off and on for about six months and wonder why you’re not seeing results. Social media can work in a similar way.

If you don’t have a goal, system, strategy, and the right tactics, you may be spending too much time on the wrong platforms, sharing the wrong content, and pursuing the wrong connections to see meaningful results or impact on your career or life. Even more risky, you could make mistakes that could become problematic later.

A focused, clear, and measurable social media positioning strategy, on the other hand, gives you the framework, insight, and design to know where to show up, how to engage, and what results align with your goals.

As you build your positioning strategy, consider the following:

1. What is your goal?

Looking for work and trying to get the attention of recruiters? Is your goal to connect with people you have ministered to and lost touch with? Are you trying to expand your connections and networks to expand your skills and knowledge? Your goal is the first area to address when launching an online positioning strategy.

2. Who is your audience?

Do you want to build credibility with your boss or colleagues? Do you want to win new customers? Perhaps your goal is to show the people you work with that your background encompasses a variety of experiences.

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3. Where do they hang out online?

If you know who you want to reach, consider where they are. Global business professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, academics and anyone involved in commerce tend to use LinkedIn. This is known as a very professional social networking platform.

In contrast, Facebook and Instagram are more casual, relaxed, and social in nature. If your primary audience is customers for your business or product, they may be more likely to find you here than on LinkedIn.

All other platforms also have unique angles and strategies for growing engagement and followers, so consider where your audience is spending time and what your goals are before assuming everyone is on TikTok just for the fun of it.

4. How do you want to come across?

What perception (personal brand) are you curating? If your goal is to be seen as a thought leader in a cutting-edge technology, that requires a certain positioning.

On the other hand, if you want to be perceived as relaxed, fun and likeable, you can choose a different online positioning. The goal here isn’t to be someone who isn’t online; Consistency is king.

5. What are your skills in terms of digital tools?

are you a good writer Do you prefer recording videos to scripting content? Depending on your goal, audience and platform, use your skills to present yourself in the best possible way.

6. How much time can you devote to this?

If you have an hour a week to devote to social media, be hyper-strategic. Make the most of the time by posting timely, relevant, and compelling content for your followers. More time means more opportunities to connect, collaborate, share, celebrate and connect online.

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7. What other positioning tools do you use?

If you’re busy networking, job hunting, and skill building, make sure your online issues and face-to-face presence are consistent. You don’t have to be perfect, but you have to be consistent; This is how you build trust and commitment.

8. Create boundaries.

Are there any topics you’d rather not share? It’s good. Create a set of rules for what you share and comment on, who you connect and support, and what conversations you appear in. Then follow these rules.

Social media doesn’t require you to share everything or have an opinion on everything. But what you share should be real, truthful and meaningful.

9. Recruit allies and mentors.

If the last thing on your mind after military service was being active on social media, enlist the help of your friends and mentors who may be knowledgeable about what works and what doesn’t work online. Learn from their mistakes and follow their lead.

10. Post content that shows your authenticity.

Just as you need to be consistent online, you should show your authenticity. It means sharing your opinions, views and perspectives on topics you enjoy discussing in such a public way.

While it’s important to remember that everything you post online is permanent and public, you can still find ways to let others know who you are, what’s important to you, and what you have to offer. This allows you to see direct results.

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The Alice in Wonderland story illustrates the need for strategy in online location: When Alice came to a fork in the road, she asked the Cheshire Cat, “Which direction am I going?” to which the cat replied, “Where are you going?” Alice replied, “I don’t know.” The cat said, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you choose.”

The author of Success After Service: How to Take Control of Your Job Search and Career After Military Duty (2020) and Your Next Mission: A personal branding guide for the military-to-civilian transition (2014), Lida Citroën is a keynote speaker and presenter, executive coach, popular TEDx speaker, and instructor of several LinkedIn Learning courses. She regularly teaches workshops on personal branding, executive presence, leadership communications, and reputational risk management.

As a writer for Military.com, Lida is a passionate military supporter who volunteers her time to help veterans transition into civilian careers and to support employers looking to hire military talent. She regularly speaks at conferences, corporate meetings, and events focused on the military transition.

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