Thursday, April 29, 2010

Avoiding Social Media TMI

It’s a strange thing to tell people that my job literally requires me to check and update Facebook.  At a time when Facebook updating is becoming a workforce interruption  on par with the NCAA tournament, how are marketers supposed to draw the line between what we should be doing on our social networks and what’s personal use?

Or maybe a better question is: do marketers who use their social media networks for their job still have a “personal use” option?  For all intents and purposes, the answer to this is probably no.  Authenticity is fast becoming a requirement for having influence in social networking. That means that They get to know who you are.  In some cases, that means they also get to see the pictures of you passed out on someone’s lawn at Mardi Gras.  c'est la vie.,.

What that doesn’t mean is that we have to lose all perspective of professionalism.  There are lots of ways to express yourself through your network without compromising the carefully cultivated image you’ve sunk years of blood sweat and tears into.  More than anything else, this seems to require some understanding of why you publish on Facebook, your blog, twitter, whatever – and who your audience is.  What’s the point of what you’re saying? Are you adding value to a business conversation that never ends with a new perspective?  What does your social media network expect of you? What are they willing to accept from your opinion?  Are they expecting you to give them a play by play of your day?  Do they need to know about your relationship status?

Most of the people I’m connected to share valuable insights about what they’re working on or ideas on how to make our work a little better.  Sometimes I’ll connect to somebody who has a fresh or witty perspective.  This is basically what I expect of them, and in turn probably what they expect of me.  The danger seems to come from overstepping those boundaries.

The best rule of thumb I’ve heard in respect to social media publishing guidelines is the company party rule.  If you were at a business mixer, what would you bring to the conversation?  What wouldn’t you bring?

Most importantly, what would be considered “oversharing” or uncomfortable?  If you answered with, “not a damn thing”, then you might just be John Mayer.


Anonymous said...

it is: c'est la vie...

LaSandra Brill said...

Not sure who gave the spelling correction but just wanted to say Thanks! I didn't take French in High School! =) It's now fixed,

walteradamson said...

The "company party rule" is a good one, but I feel it is a bit too formal. People like to deal with people and sometimes business functions people are "thinking too much". I think we can behave like we do at a dinner party, or at a restaurant for dinner with friends. That brings a relaxation but still some social norms come into play.

Walter Adamson @g2m

Addy said...

These are respecting interesting and fun party which is good for marketing consulting firm as so they can get relax.