How to: Create your own online brand

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If you're applying for a job or want to start using social networks, these top tips can help you create a standout online brand.

Know what you want to achieve

Before signing up, think about what you want to use social media for. Are you looking to share your knowledge or experience? Do you want to find a new job? Make a list of your key aims and think about how social networking can help you achieve them.

Pick a platform

Don't be on every social network just for the sake of it. Twitter is great for networking and looking for opportunities whereas LinkedIn can be used to search for job vacancies and making professional connections. Pinterest is perfect if you're after a creative career or looking for some visual inspiration. Select which social network is right for you and don't feel pressured to be on every single one!

Be consistent

If you choose to be on more than one platform ensure that your digital identity is consistent. Opt for a professional looking headshot and use it on each of your profiles. Make sure your biography is identical on each network and use keywords specific to your area of work or interest so that others can find you.

Regular posts

Posting on a regular basis will build up readership and encourage other users to check you out! The best times to post on Twitter are between 9am-10am, at lunchtime and between 5pm-7pm.

Be an expert

Agreat way to create a unique online identity is to position yourself as an expert. Is there a particular topic you feel passionate about or are involved in? Start a conversation and share your knowledge with others!

Talk to others

Social media is meant to be social! Talk to others in your field and share interesting links or stories that they have posted. Follow new people who share similar interests and take part in discussions through trending hashtags.

Create an online portfolio

If you have written blog posts or want to share some of your work then considercreating an online portfolio. Sites like Wordpress or Tumblr allow you to host them for free, and there are many creative ways to display your work. It's also a great way to strengthen your professional online brand!

What is your online brand? Will you be looking to improve it? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

Laura Dunn is a social media and communications professional, and the Director of LED Media. Laura is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, and is the Founder and Editor of Political Style. You can follow her on Twitter.