By Sheila Nazarian, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Founder – Nazarian Plastic Surgery, Spa26, The Skin Spot, and the Nazarian Institute.
It’s no secret that today we’re living in two worlds — the real world and the social media world — and oftentimes, those lines can blur. As business owners trying to build an impactful brand, it can be hard to separate these two worlds, leading to serious burnout that I have felt myself.
But I genuinely believe that if you approach your social media strategy with intention, you’ll find it much more fulfilling and impactful, just as I have. So, I’m going to share my tips for embracing that intentionality to set up your social media for personal and professional growth!
Align Your Social Media Persona With Your Most Authentic Self
My biggest tip for mastering the world of social media to grow your influence is: Be authentically you.
If you’re super goofy in person and love to joke around with your clients, but your social media portrays a serious persona you pull out for the camera, is that going to serve you? This will hurt your business. Especially since the social and real worlds tend to blur, your brand and image online need to be consistent with who you truly are.
Before you start building your social media influence, ask yourself these questions:
• What type of business do I have (or want to have)?
• What do I want my brand to be?
• What is important to my soul?
Once you master who you want to be, you’ll be able to master your social media strategy!
Curate Valuable Content That Creates Connections
Once you’ve determined how you want to show up in this world, you must make sure your content is consistent with that true self. Choose social platforms that align with what you love to post and who you are.
From there, the best way to connect with your followers and grow your influence is to create meaningful content that provides value. Depending on your brand and your followers, what’s valuable will look different, and that’s okay.
I like to stick with the five E’s:
As a plastic surgeon, for me this means showing those before-and-after pictures! Share photos that embody the type of work you want to do. I’m the Small Breast Queen, so I’m never going to post photos of double-D implant surgery because that’s not what I’m trying to attract.
Don’t delete those bloopers! Your content doesn’t all need to be perfectly edited — show the real you! There’s such a cloud of anxiety and depression in the world right now; if what you post can brighten someone’s day, that’s huge.
You need to share what you’re good at. Sharing is not bragging — it is bringing awareness to your skills so when people need help, they know you are a trusted resource.
• Educate And Explain
This could be a daily beauty how-to, or it could be activism-based posts, like it has been for me recently. It’s whatever feels right for your audience, but it’s something that could change the way they live their day-to-day.
Pro tip: It’s easy to let content creation drive your life. Batch-create your content with one to two scheduled days monthly.
The Darker Side Of Social Media
I love social media. It’s allowed me to grow my brands and contributed to me landing my dream show on Netflix. But social media has a dark side that I think needs to be discussed.
In her TEDx Talk, “Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health?” Bailey Parnell shares that social media is harming our mental health.
Studies show it is increasing anxiety, stress and depression.
We’re placing our self-worth in the number of likes and views.
It’s creating FOMO and social anxiety.
And it’s allowing people to hide behind a screen and harass others.
I know we’ve all experienced these feelings and anxieties before. How can we be a part of the change?
Leveraging Your Influence To Spark Change
This leads me to my next point. Yes, we all want a following. But is that really what it’s all about?
After discovering the negative impact of social media on the world, and maybe experiencing it yourself, how are you going to play a role in making the world a better place rather than contributing to the negativity?
I’m a first-generation Jewish Iranian immigrant. This is who I am; it’s at the core of my being, shaping my family and values.
Unfortunately, our world is plagued with racism, anti-Semitism and violence against minority groups. Growing up, my family was always afraid that voicing our opinions and sharing who we really were would result in violence or discrimination. So, I kept quiet as a protective measure and focused on my professional life on social for many years.
But after a while, I thought to myself, “My daughter is going to be in college soon. If I don’t use my influence to discuss being Jewish, anti-Semitism and other important issues, she’s going to be out there fighting alone.”
I decided I was going to use my influence to post more than skincare, plastic surgery and fashion. Yes, that’s all essential to who I am, too, but I think the impact we can have on social media can be so much bigger. We can spark change by sharing hard conversations.
You don’t have to start here, and it may feel uncomfortable to share in this way. But it’s important to understand how your content can impact others.
Ready To Master Social Media And Grow Your Impact?
The world of social media can be overwhelming. But if you come from a place of service and embrace your authentic self, you’ll grow.
• Be authentic, because what you put out there, you’ll attract.
• Provide content that shares value; that is what will help you develop lasting connections.
• Your influence has the potential to spark change. Don’t let it go to waste.