We see it happen all the time. All of us have watched companies that have great brands go through situations where their brands are questioned. These particular situations could be to due to comments or decisions made by the company. Once it goes public the company is then pushed in to damage control mode to rebuild the brand. Companies may spend thousands, better yet, millions of dollars to rebuild their brand. When you look back at it that money could have been used for other reasons, like innovation.
As I sit here and look at the different social media sites that I interact with, I find it more and more interesting how individuals portray themselves. Especially those who have businesses. Remember, regardless if you are an entrepreneur or not, you have a personal brand. Why is your personal brand important? It's no different than a company, Your brand is what you will be known by whether you want to accept it or not. The ultimate question, is how do you want to be know? As you interact with social media there are some items you need to consider and keep at the forefront of your mind at ALL times:
- Are you portraying yourself the way you want to? Essentially is what you are posting representing your brand the way you wish. If not, you may want to reevaluate how you interact and portray yourself on social media.
- Are your interactions producing the outcome you want? Are you finding that people are interacting with your brand the way you envision. If you were to ask the individuals who follow you on social media, what words would they use to describe you? Would you hear words like, inspirational, knowledgable, or full of wise. Or on the contrary you hear words like drama-filled, messy, likes to cause controversy? Depending on how you want to be portrayed, you may be fine with either. In my experience if you are an entrepreneur, or desiring to be one, individuals will look at how you interact on social media. For example, if you are working with children you probably wouldn't want potential clients to see you cursing and portraying behaviors that would be questionable behaviors interacting with kids. Though you may say, "it's my personal page" there are people who are watching and making decisions on who they think you are.
- Are you interactions impacting not only your brand, but the brand of your business (applicable to entrepreneurs only)? It's very easy to secure followers on social media based on popularity or other variables. However, every interaction counts. How you respond to individuals on social media can impact your brand. What you say to others on social media can impact your brand. I have watched people make comments about others based on what they post on social media.
- If someone you highly respected were to see all of your social media interactions would you be embarrassed or proud? As you post information or interact on social media, ask yourself "would xxxxx be proud of what I'm posting or how I'm interacting?" If the answer is no, you may want to reevaluate what you are positing. Sometimes you need a point of reference to keep you grounded. This is extremely important in today's society.
- Who you are associated with on social media are their posts and interactions with you representing your brand? Not only is it important for you to watch what you post on social media , but it's equally important to watch how others are interacting on your page. If there are individuals vocalizing beliefs, concepts, ideas that are contrary to your belief system, and brand consider terminating that interaction. It's important that YOUR brand is the brand that always shines through.
I am by no means saying change who you are. However, I do caution how you interact on social media. Especially if there is a certain brand you are trying to portray. You can say your peace and interact professionally at all times with your communication skills. You can still get your point across while protecting your brand. Always remember people will not always agree with you no matter what you do so do this for yourself and not for others. You will be happier that way.
Until next time,
The BA Martial Artist