What do Your Social Media Posting Say about You?

Recently, someone said to me ‘you must live the happiest life ever’ I was shocked and said, ‘Why, do you think so?’ to which she replied ‘Well, your Facebook is full of pictures of reading, or going places and doing things and unless what you’re posting isn’t true – you’re living a happy life.’ I stammered a bit and assured my friend that I was not posting things that did not happen and that yes, it was all true. I even confirmed that I live a pretty happy life. But that conversation has made me think.

Photo Credit: Avakian Consulting

Several days later I related the above story to my friend Dawn Bugni. Dawn is a Master Resume Writer (one of only a handful in the world) and she is always insightful in her comments.  We were having dinner and as is common for our conversations we started talking about social media – Dawn and I met via Facebook, we learned twitter together back in the day, and we both successfully use social media to drive business to our respective ventures. When I related the above story to Dawn her reaction was ‘well, yeah! You don’t post a pic of cleaning the toilets, paying the bills or arguing.’ This naturally lead to discussions on things we have seen posted via social media that are inappropriate.

Here are a few examples:

  • status updates that nearly always contain some form of alcohol consumption;
  • status updates where you complain about money (especially if you often post about extravagant purchases – people put two and two together);
  • status updates that contain personal relationship information (I don’t want to know that much about your sex life – good or bad);
  • status updates that complain about an employer (yes, we all know why you change jobs regularly)
  • and the list goes on and on.

According to the consumer reports survey ‘Insurers, employers, and college admissions officers sometimes use social media to evaluate people. They may, for example, turn to a service such as Social Intelligence that scours public postings on Facebook and other social networks as part of a background check.’

 

via Mashable

69% of Human Resources managers say they’ve rejected job applicants because of what was on their social media pages and 25% of College recruiters say they are using Social Media as a means to determine to whom they send letters of acceptance.

It seems obvious that what you say in public reflects on you, on your life and on your character.

I like to believe that I do live a happy life and if you read my blog you know that is an active pursuit for me. I also learned at my mother’s knee that you always put your best foot forward in public (I don’t think that is just a southern thing). My father was a man who loved to build things; he often said to me ‘measure twice cut once’. It really just means be sure of your measurement before you make you cut. I believe this is an adage we can adapt to social media postings. Be sure of the picture you are painting of your life via social media.

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Social Media – You get out of it what You put into it

If you are a regular reader, or even just taken a casual glance at my blog, you know I rarely write about business. Not because I am not interested or because I don’t think about it or even because I have nothing to say. I rarely write about business because, well, it is just not as much fun. I would much rather write about how to be happy, or living positive, or even my adventures and photographs. However, there are occasions when I feel the need to share. This is one of those times.

http://bestseoservicespk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/img_social-media-bandwagon.jpg

photo via SEO Web Services

Last night I was invited to be a part of a panel discussion. The topic was tips to help small businesses succeed. The first speaker ran long so in order to allow for the question and answer time I cut my comments. I basically relayed the story from my January of 2010 blog post entitled ‘When Social Media Doesn’t Work – How to Avoid the Agony of Defeat”. The long and the short of the story is that I joined a gym and saw no results because I didn’t really go to the gym and workout. I related it to Social Media and how people claim it doesn’t work but really they have joined but don’t participate. They lose interest and say it doesn’t work when really they never did the work to make it work.

At the end of the session one of the panelists (a business coach) turned to me and said: ‘You know I used to encourage social media, I hit it hard, and it didn’t work. If I can’t do it no one can.’

WOW!

I just nodded and wandered away. But the message he was sending was clear – he had missed my point completely! He had joined the craze but failed to do the work necessary to see results. Then claimed the process did not work! Just to be fair I took the time to look at his Facebook page; since April of last year he has posted nine times – YUP, NINE! I looked at his twitter and since June 2011 he has tweeted ZERO times! I am getting a clear picture of why social media doesn’t work for him.

I’m not here to harp on an old story, but if you want to lose weight by joining a gym you must go and workout. If you want to learn to play the piano, you must practice and if you want social media to work for you, you must participate.

Social Media isn’t magic – it is work! But the return on investments are high, if you put in the time and effort!

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Sharing is what it is ALL about

Part of the way I feed, clothe and have the ability to live indoors, is the use of social media. In case you are reading this and want to ask the question my mother asked last week ‘SOCIAL MEDIA, what’s that?’ The answer is social media is any avenue that acts socially using online technology. Because keeping up with the trends in social media and being well versed in using social media sights is my job, I’ve been spending time on Pinterest lately (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

What my time on Pinterest has taught me is, well, there are so many delectable foods in the world AND people love to share inspirational sayings. Some are cute. Some are insightful. Others are funny or witty. Which has me thinking, why do we love to share them so much?

After minutes of solicitous consideration, I believe I have the answer. We share the sayings for the same reason I write this blog….we want to inspire OURSELVES to be better. We believe that if we can live by the saying just for today we can improve our lives. Maybe we think we can magically hold on to the feeling we felt when we read that bit of inspiration. Maybe we want to share that feeling with others.

My post today is light hearted, but my message is serious. Get inspired! Find the thing that moves you and share! Share it with your spouse, your friends, and even the world!

 

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To Link or Not To Link

I like to talk with people. I love the exchange of ideas. I’m also keen on sharing knowledge. Last night I had the opportunity to speak to a group of local business owners about social media. The joy of talking with other small business owners is palpable for me.

At one point in our discussion last night one of the participants said ‘and don’t link your Facebook to your twitter or you’ll piss Gayle off’. I can’t deny that this is true; you will irritate me beyond belief. Nonetheless, I do not believe I am the ONLY one!

People link accounts because it is convenient. It is easy to think, I can post to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, etc and all I have to do it type it once. After all convenience is the American Way. The part that is not being considered in this scenario is the convenience of the reader (your audience). Each of the social media platforms has their own special way of interacting. What works well on one doesn’t necessarily work well on another.

When you insist on posting for your convenience and not the convenience of your reader (target audience) you run the risk of alienating the people who enjoy one platform over another. For example here in town there is a company that was VERY engaging on Twitter when they first opened their business. They posted the daily special, and were incredibly engaging with customers. At some point in time they discovered the ability to link Facebook to their Twitter account.

Now every tweet looks like this:Even worse, they no longer notice when someone tweets to them and they lose any chance of interaction.

The inverse is also true. I have a friend who constantly sends twitter retweets through to her Facebook. Unfortunately, even a wonderful message like this one:seems strange in a world where RT (retweet) and # (hashtags) aren’t common.

And in case you don’t yet know it, Social Media is about being SOCIAL! So think twice before linking your social networks for YOUR convenience. If you learn the common practices of each network and tailor your message to fit that format you will find your message better received. Believe me your customer will notice.

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Are you Using Social Media to it’s Full Amplification?

A goal of mine in 2012, along with consolidating my blogging, was to write consistently about social media. Last year I did well keeping up with my inspirational blog, and the occasional posts to my Glynne’s Soaps blog; However, when it came to blogging about social media, I quite simply was not any good.

What I have discovered in 2012 is that while I have plenty to say about social media, my tenor is snarky. I want to blast some guy who inappropriately (in my opinion) shared his chicken soup recipe. I want to prattle on and on (WOW do I have a WHOLE LOT to say about the guy who invites me to some event every day via Facebook and Linkedin (often after I have declined MULTIPLE times). I want to call out people who give me Klout on off-the-wall topics. I want to take all my frustration and put it here and lead you in with a snappy headline.

Unfortunately, for me, and fortunately, for you, THAT isn’t what Social Media is about. Too often we get caught up in the anonymity of the media and forget the social. We get caught up in complaining about the service at our favorite or not favorite restaurant. We complain about our neighbors or whine about our ailments. And really, WHO WANTS TO HEAR THAT?

It’s a trap, the trap of self absorption! We have all, no matter our age, fallen into the me generation! Are you tweeting because you want to be seen as an expert on a topic? Is your Facebook all about promoting your next event? Is LinkedIn just a place to disseminate your blog? What about google+ is it non stop drivel?

Now is the time to get clear on your message! Decide who you are and how you want your social media efforts to be received; then step out of your shoes and into your audience’s shoes. Figure out what they want to hear and how they want to hear it. When you do, you will enjoy the amplification of your voice as social media can do so well.

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Klout unto others as you would have them Klout unto you

I am relatively new to the Klout game. I will freely admit I was resistant. I couldn’t see how a Klout Score would make a difference in my world. It all seemed a little spammy to me – Tweeting to your friends to join; the mean message stating your high score than their low score. I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t for a VERY long time.

Then I read an article about how Klout is the beginning of Web 3.0. The there was a discussion with a trusted colleague about the important your Klout score was when it came to employability, and while I have no plans to find an employer anytime soon, I am concerned with people hiring me. And just because I do not give credence to the Klout Score, it certainly stands to reason that they might; especially since they would be hiring me in a social media capacity.

It has caused me to embark on a journey to have a respectable Klout score. My score hovers just under 60 and Klout lists me as a ‘specialist’ whom they describe as “You may not be a celebrity, but within your area of expertise your opinion is second to none. Your content is likely focused around a specific topic or industry with a focused, highly-engaged audience.”

What I’ve learned is that friends can list you as influencers of just about anything. One of my funny friends listed me as an influencer about Buffalo Wild Wings (said with an unbelievable tone). Don’t get me wrong, I do like wings and I do play trivia at B-dubs but beyond that I got nothing.

In my investigation of what you can do about blocking friends from giving you Klout in inappropriate topics what I found is…basically nothing! I did find an article about about blocking those friends (I love how she calls it putting them in time-out). What you CAN do is delete the topic from your list. This may diminish your score, but it will remove the offending topic.

The bottom line is Klout unto others as you would have them Klout unto you.

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