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Be Positive: Why Your Social Media Persona Really Does Matter

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What is your social media persona? It's how people see you in all your online presence rolled into a big ball. It's the text in your bio, your social media avatar, all the visual elements, and last but not least what you say, of course, counts as well. Using all these pieces, snap decisions are made to follow you or not. Let's look at how you can create a social media persona worth following.

Be positive.

“An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.”
― Brian Tracy

Take care with what you say and how you say it.  From Guy Kawasaki, “Focus on good will —that is, positive actions that make the world a better place. People distrust people who focus on bettering their own position and who denigrate others.”

Smart tip: Save interesting tweets that you receive in your favorites so potential new followers have something interesting to read when they look at your profile.

Here's a few examples of tweets that I've received:

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Mari Smith shines in all her social media with her fantastic photo, great design work and polishes it off with a great message, everyday. Mari is consistently perky, lively and smart. She shares carefully curated content that fits her brand and is frankly, just lovely.

Here are a few examples of how Mari interacts on Twitter:

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Be interesting. 

Consider that people may only see one tweet to make their snap decision about you. Don't tweet or share boring updates about being bored, post your Get Glue updates on Facebook or similar things. Only boring people get bored and no one cares what you're watching on television. Don't have anything to say at the moment? Then don't say anything.

From Guy Kawasaki's keynote at the New Media Expo, “People in social media want me to be like eHarmony for social media and be all kumbayah but I'm more like Hot or Not.” He totally nails how people's attention span works in social media. Snap decisions to follow or not are made based on all the elements of your social media persona. A cursory glance is given to a tweet, profile picture, and if you're lucky they'll look at your bio as well.

Avoid swearing. Sure, you have an open platform but use it wisely.

From Guy in Enchantment:  “Swear infrequently. Once or twice a year is the limit. Any more than this amount, and people will think you’re a crude, uncouth person. You can also soften your profanity with words like “crap” and “suck” which are strong enough to do the trick but much less likely to offend anyone. You can also do what I do and use “bull shiitake” as my go-to swear word—it’s technically a special kind of bovine mushroom not swearing.” While Guy doesn't swear online, he will use the occasional softer words for effect in speeches. Why? Guy knows that brands don't want to sponsor immature people. To be taken seriously in social media, you need to be serious. This doesn't mean that you can't be fun or funny but be mindful of the fact that people are watching and forming their decisions whether they should work with you or be associated with you.


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Be helpful.

My friend Kelly Lieberman exemplifies helpful to me. She loves Pinterest, a lot! Taking her passion for pinning, she's created a wonderful community around her  weekly #PinChat on Twitter. She stays up-to-date on all the latest Pinterest tips and tricks sharing them generously with her followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as well as moving on Google+. People know if they have a question about Pinterest that Kelly will know the answer or find the answer, she's well-respected and loved. Kelly does this with a pure heart and loving nature which has parlayed into mentions in Mashable, TechCrunch and even an invitation to the White House for a Pinterest event.

In summary, think of how all the pieces of your social media presence fit together. Are you someone worth following? What things do you look at when deciding to follow someone?

1. Be positive

2. Be interesting

3. Don't be crass

4. Be helpful

This is the first article in a series of three, I hope you'll check back on the next two Mondays for them or please subscribe to my blog to receive updates. Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

Quotes in the article are from:

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions by Guy Kawasaki

The New Relationship Marketing: How to Build a Large, Loyal, Profitable Network Using the Social Web by Mari Smith

Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons.

Article by Peg Fitzpatrick

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  1. I agree with this – I actually just tweeted my first swear word over the weekend of almost 18,000 tweets. It didn’t feel great, but I felt it was appropriate for the subject. I went back to my original purpose for creating my Twitter account before pressing the “publish” button. I weighed my words against the image I wanted to project and decided it was in support of that image.I agree with you totally Peg – people participating in the public  conversation need to be mindful of the fact that people are forming opinions about them at all times.

    1. @OneJillian Good points, Jillian. There are some exceptions but whenever you are representing a brand or are working in social media, it’s just not wise. Even if you’re just joking or being silly, chances are people won’t go back and look for the whole conversation or get the tone properly. You’ve always been fantastic online and off, happy I met you of so long ago. Which just reminded me of that faux conference…ha ha! What was the name of that?

  2. Good one!  And, from the way you conduct and present yourself online, it’s clear you WALK the TALK!  You GO girl!

  3. I absolutely agree with you. And I want my social media streams to be filled with all things positive too. There is no reason to drag down even a tiny moment for someone with negativity.

  4. Nice. As are many others, I’m in the business of introducing newbies to social media. Your post absolutely nails it. Thanks for helping make my job easy (or at least easier).

  5. I really loved this. In communication whether on social media or face-to-face, we either push people away from us or draw them in with everything you just suggested.

  6. I agree totally with all said in this article but just have to say that actually people do care what you’re watching on television. I didn’t expect much from my account on GetGlue but was surprised to find people not only likeing what I watched but responding. I don’t use it near as much as the app would like me to and rarely hit the Facebook share button but if I’m watching a quality movie or a blast from the past, or maybe a great T.V. series that I want to recommend, I’ll be sure that I add a Facebook share and I almost always get responces from both Facebook and strangely enough from a growing GetGlue community.

    1. @Mike Russell1 That’s really interesting, Mike. I guess it depends on who is looking at things. Maybe it’s your thoughtful sharing of things that you really like as opposed to updating each and everytime?
      I’m glad it works for you!

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