I was discussing with a friend recently who had just received her first “big kid job” (while in college I might add) for a local radio station. In the radio world, real names are changed just as frequently as Taylor Swift’s new single gets played.
She ran her new names past me and they all sounded wrong because none of them were “her.” After finally deciding on one, she changed her Facebook and Twitter handle to match accordingly and was thus, rebranded. I mentioned that she would have to add to her bios, “Tweets are my own thoughts, etc.” She laughed because the thought of doing that just sounds ridiculous out loud.
When did this trend of stating that our thoughts are our own start? Here are some thoughts and tips to help you navigate this modern form of connecting:
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Brand yourself (expand yourself) in every way possible
There have been more times than not that I have double – no, triple checked – a tweet before I have tweeted it. Will this be offensive? Will I regret saying this in a few years? Will my future employers judge me directly based on a humorous tweet?
It’s true that you should stay aware and watch what you say in a world where true privacy no longer exists. However, should your professional twitter be BORING? I have recieved multiple follow requests from my friends that have created a second twitter account just to showcase their professionalism. It might be a smart way to market yourself but not a good way to show who you really are.
I retweet/tweet links to recent Saturday Night Live skits, quotes from my favorite shows/movies, funny quips that run through my mind, pictures or lyrics that speak to me, and I won’t apologize for any of it. Retweet anything that interests you, makes you smile, lets you think and your personality will shine through. But as actress Ellen Page stated in a tweet, “You can’t always tweet what you wahhhhhannnnnt.” Don’t take the freedom you’re given on social media and use it to post every single thing that passes through your thoughts. Keep your personal brand in mind.
If a company likes your brand, they will want to adopt it as a part of their own.
Is your social media page your first impression or your second?
Does networking in person exist in a marginalized way? For example, do you follow strangers on Twitter and meet them in person after interacting with them? If so, does the in-person meeting pale in comparison to the person’s twitter persona? Think about if your profile reflects your “first impression self.”
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A study done by Princeton psychologists states, “Response times also revealed that participants made their judgments as quickly (if not more quickly) after seeing a face for 1/10 of a second as they did if given a longer glimpse.” But how long does a first impression take on social media? How many tweets does one scroll through before they’re done making their first impression? Think about the last 10 tweets on your timeline and how those reflect your personality.
Your professionalism stands for itself in your resume and experience. Your social media should remain just that – social.
Be YOURSELF. Be HUMAN. Build your personal brand based on who you really are. After all, if a company doesn’t like the content you’re posting, then maybe you aren’t a good fit (culturally) for their company anyway. And won’t that help in the long run?
Maybe I’m wrong, but after all, “these thoughts are my own.”