I wish I had written that, but it was from the hand of Peggy Orenstein in her NYTimes article, "I tweet, therefore I am." I saw the article days ago from a friend’s Facebook feed. It was interesting enough for me to come back to it for an actual read (that’s a huge feat).
In the past week I've heard several different opinions around social media, self promotion, and electronic communications. I thought it was odd that all of these conversations, completely different subjects, were in fact, connected.
My daughter’s teacher suggests she clean-up her Facebook account before applying for college. The radio morning show was talking about their online twitter stalkers. A family member was scolded for using too much text messaging “it’s not real communication”. My mother is upset to be the last to know everything (she’s not a facebooker). And perhaps the most interesting to me was, a potential client was perceived as “self promoter” not a “company advocate”. Thinking back…each piece of yielding advice was provided by someone who is not part of the social wave of daily interaction.
In Orenstien’s article she mentions we are all now part of a reality TV show—using Twitter and such to post our every move, vying for attention and looking for feedback. I’m definitely guilty. I love tweeting a good article, sharing news about my company, turning my 101 random thoughts into a cohesive blog post… and there is nothing better than receiving personal feedback or watching those google analytic numbers go up.
But does this make me a “self promoter”? I have a personal blog, but all tweets and postings keep my companies culture, newest services, and SEO in mind. I tweet random thoughts (sometimes I just can’t help it) but mostly, all is for the company. I also post blogs for official company business, where often times, my name is attached.
As I read other tweets and blogs, I immediately cling to those with more personality. I remember their thumbnail photos. I reply and interact often. There are plenty of webinars and articles that say personality is the key to social interaction. So, in my mind, my outward self-promotion is nothing short of a daily sacrifice for the good of the company. *sounds trumpets and flags*
So do we work on toning down our personality while the rest of the population catches up with us? Or do we continue posting opinions about the “Seinfeldian absurdities of life” in hopes that it will strike a chord with someone looking for our service, someone interested in a connection, or by-golly even someone who will leave a comment or *gasp* reference our blog on their blog!?