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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How will you work this into your business plan? (humor)

New business model….

because I find dogs more agreeable, I’ll be producing cute puppy videos!

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Twitter is a business tool you can’t afford to leave in the tool box

I oft find that people who have never use twitter think it is just a place to post what you had for breakfast or other random uninteresting information. What they don’t realize is that while there is a certain amount of random information available, there is also good and informative information available.

I for one, rarely watch television news. I don’t need to; it is all available via twitter. If I am looking for a hair cut, I ask on twitter. I have discovered some of my favorite restaurants via twitter. The list of uses for twitter is endless.

I have a great many interests and twitter allows me to follow all my favorites, in real time. From the tour de France to my beloved Cubs, I receive the up to the minute information. I also receive the best and fastest tech support from my internet provider via twitter.

While only 7% of Americans are using it, the Twitter population is still 17 million people, which is roughly equivalent to the combined populations of Connecticut, Oregon, Kentucky, Kansas, and Oklahoma. 49% of monthly Twitter users follow brands or companies, compared to just 16% of social network users overall. Put another way, Twitter users are 3 times more likely to follow brands than Facebook users. Combined with their above average income and above average education, Twitter users’ propensity to interact with brands make them a huge potential source for Mass Influencers.

The biggest advantage I find with twitter is that it is mobile. I may not check my Facebook via my phone. A poll of my friends says that Facebook users are not following businesses via SMS. However, 63% of Twitter users access social networks via mobile phone, compared to 34% of social networkers as a whole.

Twitter is a business tool you can’t afford to leave in the tool box.

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Go All The Way

A little more than a month ago, I was perusing my twitter feed when I saw a tweet that struck a cord with me. It sums up my thoughts on Social Media for businesses:

Project1

Do not get me wrong, if your twitter account is for you in your personal life then feel free to avoid response. However, if you have put your business out on twitter then you have an obligation to respond. I am not saying you need to be available 24/7.  Rather, that a direct question / inquiry deserves a direct response / acknowledgement.

If you use twitter to promote your business, why not go the extra step and use twitter to enhance your customer service. You clientele will appreciate the interaction. Try it.

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