"it's all about honesty. If you can fake that, you've got it made."You work on creating a well rounded perception of your brand, your brilliant thought leadership, your trustworthiness, etc. and you hope you get people to talk TO you and ABOUT you (hopefully in a good way!) -- drive digital word of mouth.
All that is great and helps add some soul to a CEO or more lifeblood to a business. We've seen the success stories of the Zappos customer service, Dell's course correction, and Obama central become over-Tweeted parables of bar-raising expectations.
Where I start to get concerned, and believe me I'm no exception, is when we start confusing our personal value and when we're always thinking or promoting our value as a "brand." We start to measure our own worth by the number of followers, friends and alerts, and turn what should be our more personal dialogues into crafted multilogues.
When did even my personal pages or Tweets become a race to be the first to post the cool link? I mean, heaven-forbid you DON'T include some valuable nugget these days?? Who needs that kind of pressure on, say, Facebook? Can't I just hang out by a wall?
But the world is a great big sheet of cellophane now, so poster beware. (And yes, I WILL stop taking your feeds if you think I am titillated about your lunch choice today.) It's a fine line between being more professional in our personal life online, and starting to drink your own Kool-Aid, believing tons of people are really listening as we try to come across more personally in our professional life.
It's easy to confuse hitting the first few hundred or the thousand mark on Twitter (@mossappeal, ya'all) with real people who will hang on your every word at an actual cocktail party. I've heard lots of stories of groups with hundreds of fans on LinkedIn or friends on FaceBook using it exclusively to post an invite to an event...only to have lots of leftover pigs in a blanket because of no-shows.
It takes time and it also takes a little humility to promote yourself on every platform and remember to find that balance between your personal and professional brand.
So I offer these Warning Signs.
You might be an S-Head on Social Media (Swelled Head, that is) IF:
- You think you can stop Dating and start D@ing. Worse, you try to set up a first date via a D@.
- You think your friends want to know your opinion on the state of crude and your followers want to know a crude joke, and you blast all the same feeds to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn .
- You try to get a reservation at a hot restaurant by assuming they, too, think 1000 followers makes you A-list.
- You're incensed when no one Diggs you, man.
- You truly believe your last 23 Q&A answers deserved "Best Expert" status.
- You are stunned that Mrs. Kutcher isn't following you.
Your blogs are way too long because you enjoy expounding and are sure that since there are a billion people online now, at least a million will hang on your every word. ...whoops.
And by the way, I hope you tweet this blog or link it to your profile, because I'm -- I mean, it -- is really smart and funny and resourceful, don't you think?