3 ways our social media presence can affect how we are perceived

| August 19, 2019

With the rise in the marketplace of a digital native generation who spend more time looking at the world through a screen, the concept of personal branding is at the forefront of conversation. The mixed response to Instagram’s recent decision to trial removing the number of likes on posts only highlights how engrained social media has become in today’s culture.

Branding is no longer just a conversation for the corporate marketing department, and anonymity is fast becoming a luxury of the past. Our lives are on display and people are always watching – and as a result – your reputation speaks before you do. With 70 per cent of employers admitting to ‘researching’ candidates in a 2018 CareerBuilder survey and more than half of those employers deciding ‘not’ to hire a candidate as a result of their online presence – your online positioningis more important than ever.

Positioning is more than just building your own personal brand. It runs much deeper and broader than that. The word ‘position’comes from the Latin word ponere, which means to place. Think about positioningas how people place you in their mind. When your name comes up in conversation or when people discover your online presence, how will those people place you? When building your online positioning, here are three moments to consider and leverage.

People are searching

People are searching for you online. They are using what they find to build a picture of who you are and what you are about. The question you need to ask is, what are they finding?

When they read your LinkedIn bio, what can people learn about who you are and what you value? When they check out your staff profile on the intranet or read your travel blog from five years ago, who is the person they will discover? When they take a look at your social media feed, what story will it tell?

Because people are searching for you, think about your visibility. Consider how you are showing up in the places people are looking. How can you be more intentional about creating a strong presenceonline? Are you actively engaging in the places that people are looking? Could you write regularly on topics you want to be known for and align your social media pages with your message?

People are following

People are following you online. People are reading your online content and seeing your status updates. When you send an angry tweet because your flight is delayed, your team, friends and audience see that too. So what does it say about you?

The question to consider is, what are they getting by following you? Have you given them a reason to follow? Why would someone want to follow your updates or online articles?

Because people are following, think about investment. How can you use what you have to invest in others? Find opportunities to create valuefor the people who follow you. Give them a good reason to keep following you. Be generous with ideas and resources and continue to help them solve real problems, and you’ll build a strong reputation long before you have the opportunity to meet them.

People are engaging

People are engaging with you. Whether it’s through an online comment, direct message or email, the question to ask is, what are they experiencing when they do?

When they ask a question, send you a message or share one of your articles, what is your response? Are you late responding? Are you short and abrupt when sending messages? Do you sometimes leave questions unanswered? These online actions are shaping your reputation.

When people are engaging with you, think with a service mindset, just as you would want every one of your employees to do with your customers or what you would expect yourself a customer. How can you create moments that are memorable for people who engage with you? How can you surprise and delight your team or audience? How can you do something they won’t quickly forget when they finally see you in person.

Everything you do says something about you. It’s worth taking the time to consider whether you are saying something valuable. Each moment is a valuable opportunity to position yourself in the way that you want to be known.