If you’re on social media, you’re a brand. So what story does your brand tell? What information are you revealing about your interests, your qualifications, and even your private life when you’re social networking?
When we use the internet, we are leaving little crumbs behind of where we’ve been and we’re creating a snapshot of our identities for the world to access and use as they see fit. We’re even inviting people in to have a qualified opinion about us (and our friends) based on our actions…And you know how people like to have their opinions.
Is it time to consider what you’re putting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and posting on forums and other social networking sites? The tweets are watching, ya’ll.
CONSIDER WHAT YOU POST
Since its inception, employers have been checking and periodically monitoring the Facebook and LinkedIn profiles of current and potential employees. We must consider that when we create these online snapshots, we encourage and welcome scrutiny into our lives.
With the exception of a full shutdown, where we all unplug from the “Matrix”, we have to figure out ways to use these tools to our advantage and think before we post.
The key to building a successful online brand image is identifying your purpose, but before you figure the existential reason for your existence; you must DECLUTTER!
We all have pictures on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, (and Myspace anyone?), that are from a different time in our lives. From college keggers, of exes, and that Cinco de Mayo trip where you fell asleep on the toilet and…Well you know what happened that made your friends want to capture the moment. Those memories that you found so funny, and were so proud of that you just had to post; they are immortalized in the annals of the digital chasm called the internet. Those great memories are personal treasures, to be shared with the ones who experienced them and a select few of your choosing.
DEFINE YOUR BRAND
What do you want to be when you grow up? After you have laid the groundwork and cleaned up those profiles, go about determining what you want to be known for, what you stand for, and where you can have a voice. Tailor your virtual presence to suit your desired destination. Be wise and cautious in things you choose to post as you work towards matching your online identity with your real-world persona. Figure out the destination, and design your image as you would like it to be, not as someone else say it is.
BEGIN PROJECTING YOUR NEW BRAND
Research is an important step in branding. If you want to be a ballerina, see what other dancers are posting and use your social media platforms to add relevant topics to the universal conversation. The same applies if you want to be a banker, lawyer, or a clown. Understand, the people you meet on the way up will do their due diligence. If they feel you can be beneficial to their circle they will add you; if they feel you are a liability they may be less inclined to do so.
OWN BRAND YOU
We tend to view social media platforms as something fun, a way to kill time and keep updated on the newest trends. Social media is big business, and your personal profile has monetary value. Targeted ads are presented to you based on your likes and your conversations, special offers are presented to you because of your posts, and individuals are making real money for mentioning products.
Please know, social media is important to your purse. YOU are a brand. Own yours!