The importance of being me

I have often wondered why certain people I know take on different personas in different situations. Most folks I know I find to be pretty consistent, but when it comes to online presence, some appear like Jekyll and Hyde!

My earliest recollection of managing a persona was my Mum (but I didn’t call it a persona at the age of seven). When she answered the telephone, she put on her ‘posh’ voice and assumed a vocabulary I never heard her speak in daily conversation. “3631 – how may I help you?”. Now this was the early days of having a telephone in your home – so perhaps she felt compelled to match her ‘new technology’ with a new voice? She’s a lot better now, but every now and again….

And the same occurs today. Why do people not be themselves when communicating online?

So here’s my top 12 tips for being yourself on Social Media, but especially so on LinkedIn, THE business to business platform:

1) Don’t put on your ‘posh voice’. Use everyday language. Save your jargon for when you are with your colleagues, but even then, be sparing.

2) Have an opinion. I don’t want to hear bland. I don’t want to hear what everyone else says. I want your opinion. Don’t just agree – its boring.

3) Be respectful. Imagine you were stood in front of the person you are communicating with. Would you really say that? Would you say it infront of your grandmother?

4) Don’t get trolled. Every now and again a conversation is dominated by a person who just won’t go away. We call these trolls. Opinions start to stretch and the spur of the moment demands you hit the keys back. Stop. Is it worth it? Your own online reputation is far more important than teaching anyone a lesson. Pull out. Move on.

5) Be succinct. Don’t ramble. Our time is precious – don’t waste someone else’s.

6) Say nice things. A ‘thank you’, an ‘I appreciate that’ makes you a human being. And a nice one.

7) Keep in the conversation. So many times a great debate occurs and the person who began it never enters the fray. Why start it in the first place? You wouldn’t ask a question at the bar then walk away never to return. On the other hand, don’t join a conversation too soon – let the conversation take place, then add your point of view.

8) Never ask the obvious question for which you have the immediate answer. That’s spam.

9) Be consistent. Don’t deluge every conversation for a few weeks then disappear. People do notice.

10) Try to leave a response that asks another question. That way you encourage the conversation to continue.

11) When you know someone who has an area of expertise that would be useful in the debate – let them know. People like to be asked and their contribution will be valid. You’ll find the favour is returned.

12) Be yourself. Always.

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