Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Should the information I share on social media be only about my work?

In our last iAM Woman in Business Circle Meeting someone asked a very good question in the context of what we should be sharing through the social media channels: In addition to products my customers are buying I have expertise in other areas. Should I keep that separate from information about products my customers are buying?
In other words, should we be sharing information only that is related to our work when we are building our brand using social media channels?

My advice is to let people know you as a multidimensional person. It is good to speak about things you are passionate about so people know who you are as a human being, as long as it is consistent with who you are and what you want to convey to people. E.g. I am a mindful marketer and I speak about the mindful use of social media and marketing. But I also speak about mindful eating and other aspects of mindfulness, I also speak to causes and events I am passionate about, I speak to movies and books that move me - and the idea is to share my insights and my being with people so we can connect at a deeper level than just a superficial understanding of what I do.

Another question that often comes up is whether the channels we use for personal relationships should only include personal content and not professional content. Facebook, which can be used for personal and professional reasons is a good example of this. Of course the answer to this may vary from person to person. My response is to do what feels most authentic to you. To me sharing who I am in all dimensions, spiritual, professional, relational, and intellectual, comes very easily. This is who I am. And I have ended up having very deep conversations in my personal circles around my work. Such dialogs would never have taken place if I didn't share myself fully. I have also built clientele from sharing myself in authentic ways in personal channels, which have led to professional relationships. But don't use this as a rule of thumb, based on different situations and people, you make choose differently. Just remain open to different ways of being and communicating.

A related point is sharing different facets of yourself consistently. I often receive emails from random people to attend their events and I am like "why?" And these are very well crafted professional emails. But I knew nothing about them before and after the email other than what they do. Why should I want to attend their event when I have so many other choices to spend my time and money. On the other hand, if this person was already in my radar because of the cool things they have been sharing about themselves, because of their cool insights, or humor or whatever it is that makes them unique, then I am more likely to pay attention to what they are offering. It is useful to stay in touch with people on a consistent basis. Express your uniqueness. It is about building your relationship slowly so that when you do have an event people will listen and then if they have a need they will respond, but atleast they will listen. Mostly, everyone is so busy that they will not even notice if you try to reach them once in a while only for your event.

To summarize, be authentic in sharing your multidimensionality and be consistent in your communications.

What do you think?

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