I have no shame in admitting that I’m fascinated (okay, addicted) to the show Catfish. It’s a show on MTV that seeks to identify the true identities of people who are pretending to be someone they’re not by using social media to create false identities — particularly to pursue deceptive online romances. While we may not all be intentionally deceptive in the same way as a “catfish,” social media does allow us to hide behind a veil of anonymity, giving people the boldness to act and say things that they wouldn’t normally or to live vicariously through their online persona. In a recent episode of Catfish, the “catfish” said she felt no remorse for misleading the other person. And she had no plans to stop catfishing. It made me think that, with all this social media, we are — in many respects — learning to be authentically disingenuous.
An exploration of authenticity in social media and in real life.
In one of my recent social media gatherings, a group of us reflected on what it’s like to eventually meet each other in person. Someone mentioned that they find it interesting when they meet people and there is a disconnect between the online persona and the physical person. Someone that is an introvert in real life can easily become an outspoken extrovert when shielded by a monitor screen. No matter who you are, it’s always nice to bridge the online and physical connection, but it begs the question: which you is the authentic YOU? The introvert or the extrovert? The person you are putting forth in real life or the person you present to your online counterparts? And how do you choose who sees what?
Just came across this excellent post from Michael Gotta, a senior technology solution manager at Cisco. He provides some very powerful insight into collaboration sites within the enterprise. One of his most compelling points is that when creating employee profiles for collaboration sites, make sure that you’re not just creating them as another form of the employee’s HR record, but instead as a means for employees to establish their personal identity. Approaching from this mindset gives employees higher control over how they are presented to their colleagues — the who and what they are within your organization. From this standpoint, you will achieve a higher adoption rate of employees creating and using profiles, and a much more effective collaboration network overall.
I have shoes… and LOTS of them. In fact, there’s probably only one thing I love more than social media and that’s high heels. When it comes to shoes, the higher, the better; the more colorful and unique… the more I have to have them. And if you looked inside of my closet, you would know this to be true. Shoes come in all shapes and sizes, colors and varieties, and it’s essential that you find the right fit. Kind of like social media — giving you a unique identity (think Carrie Bradshaw!), putting a little skip in your step, and adding a little swank to your swagger. And, when have found that combination that fits you perfectly, you will indeed drive conversation. In fact, I have found a lot of commonalities between slipping on a pair of high heels and stepping into social media. Here’s what I’ve found:
Today I had the wonderful opportunity to present to the National Black Public Relations Society on how to create an influential and credible personal brand in social media.
There are already a ton of great resources that will tell you where and how you create establish your personal brand in any given social networking platform. So, in this presentation, I chose to focus more on how a personal brand allows you to increase your visibility, demonstrate a unique promise of value and help you stand out among your colleagues, peers and social connections; how the ubiquity of social media tools has given communicators the perfect platform for being recognized as thought leaders, contributors and influencers to social conversation; and how, given all of this, can you balance your personal brand with your company brand.