Nine Years On Facebook, What I Have Learn’t About Digital Personal Branding.

If you can’t scroll down 10 previous posts (tweets) with someone your respect, then there is something wrong with your social media page — JRM.

I have written couple of articles about the value of personal branding. In one of my popular articles, I have talked about the VCP concept. How Investing on your V-Visibility can help you to become C-Credible and hence improving your chances of be becoming P-Profitable on what you do. One thing I didn’t say much in my previous articles is how can someone manage to attain the highest pick of the VCP level in the age of digital revolution and the connected world.

The VCP requires you to be successful enough in your personal branding until when someone mentions your name at most three keywords should pop up into someone’s mind describing what you do or what you are good at.

Initially when I was working on the concept, honestly I wasn’t sure if it is something achievable. After four years of investing heavily in digital branding; sharing what I do on all social media platforms, engaging in positive discussion on issues related to my career, developing myself as a digital leader, I came to realize the VCP rule is real and achievable.

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2010, during my Presidency, Tanzania Students Association Bangalore, India (TASABA). Facebook played a crucial role in helping me mobilizing my voters from different colleges. Eight years later the same tools is feared to control national Presidential elections.

So what three career words that come to your mind when you hear the name Jumanne Mtambalike? I asked this question to some of my friends and colleagues. Most of them replied Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Innovation. The good news is they got it right, the challenge is I spent 4 years branding myself in the area. I wasn’t so good; I have written over 300 articles roughly, mostly on technology, few on innovation and entrepreneurship. Involved in multiple discussion and doing over 20 MOOCs and I’m still learning.

What was the role of Facebook in all this? I started using Facebook like any other young person. Posting whatever I felt was okay to post, what is on my mind. I changed after I started blogging on tech, that was nine years ago. I was inspired by the famous Swahili Tech blog of that time AfroIT and Erick Hersman’s WhiteAfrican Blog. I went ahead and did five blogs webtechjr, tech360magazine, j4mtambalike, techboxafrica until I stopped blogging tech two years ago with Knowcache (the account is down now). I can proudly say I was among the highest contributors of tech contents from this part of the world.

In 2013/2014 is when I was introduced to two powerful tools; the VCP rule and the book, Branding Yourself, How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself. I got the book from the son of my mentor. The two tools changed the way I approached Social Media especially Facebook.

While most of my friends thought I was showing off my life by posting everything I do at the office and showcasing each of my corporate achievements, very few understood it was my digital branding strategy.

After few years Facebook becomes the tool that introduced me to the people who have changed my life in so many different ways; Jukka Siltanen, Garry Whitehill, Mariemme Jamme, James Clear etc. Helped me to grow as a person and to learn a new thing every day. It became a pattern every time I post something productive I’m getting a new productive friend. Who added value to my corporate life.

So what where my key learning using Facebook for over nine years.

  1. It’s a cheapest marketing and branding platform, I have built all my startups brands online. Facebook played an amazing role and this is without ads of course.
  2. Garbage In, Garbage Out, everything stupid I have ever posted over the years it has come to haunt me back, either by getting me fake friends, bad relationships etc.
  3. You Can’t Take it Back, once you post it, this is my favorite one. I remember I was involved in a lot of crazy pictures in my college days. My mission was very simple they should never reach the social media.
  4. Social Media, Social Gain, Social Media can be your social capital. I have met we so many people on Facebook. My co-founders, mentors, clients, business partners etc because of what I post and share.
  5. It Grows, You Grow, one thing I have learned over time is the concept digital growth. If you are still posting the same nature of status that you posted back in 2009, then you really need some prayers. You need to grow with the platform and become more productive. Engage in more positive conversation and search for productive relationships.
  6. You Define Social, social media and privacy are good friends, bad privacy management can eat your career for breakfast. Always be careful on the level of society you want to be with social media. Be social enough.
  7. Stupid in Masses, no one in their right mind can stand in front of 1000 people and speak something that makes him look stupid but you find people posting stupid stuff that is being read by 10,000 plus people. Social Media can make you look stupid in masses.
  8. You can define your story your own way and dictate how people perceive you. You just need to spend the time to build your brand.

It has been amazing nine years on Facebook with a lot to learn and share in the platform. I dedicate this article to all great friends I have formed down the years and people whom we are still not met physically but with a lot of plans to do great things together.

Appreciation

  • a friend who convinces me to join the platform in 2009, when I was still a die-hard fan of Yahoo Messenger.
  • Mark and the team at Facebook for an amazing product which is changing people’s lives.

Written by

Entrepreneur, TZ Patriot, Loves Tech, Founder saharaventures.com, Project Management Consulting firm, Co-Founded saharasparks.com and Sahara Accelerator.

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