You are what you Tweet. And what you post on Facebook. And what others see and hear about you online in Google searches and LinkedIn look-ups.
Do you match your social online persona? What does it all say about you?
In looking back at my last couple months of Tweets, Foursquare check-ins and Facebook posts, I’ve found a few things about myself:
- The majority of my posts consist of Foursquare check-ins to my office.
- The runner up is Foursquare check-ins to places to eat & drink.
- I’m fairly obsessed with my pets (one dog, one kitten).
- I’m not saying much on most of my social media outlets.
Talking only about yourself doesn’t really say much about you.
Look at my Facebook and you find that again I am obsessed with my pets, but also that we take a lot of pictures of us doing game nights at home- which is ironic considering how many cool places I seem to check in to on Foursquare.
LinkedIn is light– filled with only the basics of where I work and titles I have had here. Google + lacks anything but a picture and some people I’m “circled with.” However, does the fact that I’m on Google + say something in itself? How about Yammer?
Anyone can do a Google search on themselves and find quite a bit, probably more than they even expect. But if your various profiles and personas don’t match each other, how are you sure that they match you?
And how does this affect how you view others?
Everyone checks you out online — make sure the “real” you is there.
Employers, clients and colleagues check you out online. Recent findings have shown that online research for companies and individuals is increasingly done on social media outlets. It’s a major recruitment and job screening tool. In fact, recent study shows that almost 40% of prospective employers check you out on Facebook first. So if a prospective employer, client, or any other contact is looking for you, it’s not only important that you exist on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. but what you do on there. This is where you need to “walk the talk.”
If you claim to be innovative, but have never posted anything to that effect (or anything at all) on Twitter, it is not likely many people will believe you. Therefore, authenticity in these outlets comes not just from what you do- but what you don’t do.
Four steps to a better online persona for me.
Rather than just let my online persona just happen by accident I decided to be very deliberate and focused about how I wanted to be perceived by the online world.
- Spent some time working out my own social spheres. This is my little personal mind-map of interests. Some professional, some personal.
- Next, I looked for intersections– places where my circles overlapped. (I know this looks a lot like Google + circles which is the idea but using interests instead of contacts and friends.)
- Then I reviewed and revised all of my profiles.
- Finally, I started to really think and write and post content that fits me and my persona.
Make sure the real you shows up online.
Are you authentic online? Look at your last month of Tweets and your Facebook wall. See any trends? Google yourself. What comes up first? (Hint: check images too). You may be surprised at what you, and the rest of the world, are finding.
- Checking in on Foursquare Day: Social Media Event of the Week (radian6.com)
- Foursquare Tops 20 Million Users (mashable.com)
- It’s Foursquare Day – Does Anyone Care Where I Am? (socialamateur.com)
- PPC: How to Tap Into the Power of the Persona (searchenginewatch.com)