What Is Your Online Identity

This post is a bit of blogging/social media/real life for you today. Yes, the focus is making sure you have a coherent brand for your blog across social media channels, but it also goes a little deeper into who you are as an online presence.

If you’re interested in my wonderful words of wisdom, read to the end. If you’re just looking on how to start forming a coherent brand on social media, the beginning is for you. I’ll let you decide what to do when you get to the middle. 🙂

Blogging and life information. Important tips for creating a coherent social media brand and also a closer look at your online identity through the messages you put out.

Social Media

As I’m sure you’re aware, social media rules the world. New apps are popping up all the time and we are more connected than ever through things like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you’re trying to establish a brand and a voice across various social media channels, the key is consistency.

When I started blogging, I added different social media channels one by one, most of the time begrudgingly. I think I was legitimately mad when I had to get a Twitter account. What I’ve learned over the years is that different channels reach different demographics in different ways. They all have their unique advantages. I’m not advocating signing up for every social media opportunity (I still haven’t hopped on the Snapchat or Periscope bandwagon), but do pick one or a few and do them really well.

How do you do that? Consistency.

Are all your social media descriptions the same? Do you have the same image for each one? You want to be easily recognizable by readers and brands, so make sure to make each account as cohesive as possible.

Here are shots from my Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts. Hope you like a lot of pictures of me running.

instagram online identity

twitter online identity

pinterest online identity

You’ll notice that all of my descriptions and pictures are the same and I make sure to have my location and email readily available (it’s underneath the description in the Twitter picture).

To sum up, here are the most important things to include on your social media accounts:

  • unique description
  • location
  • email address
  • same picture

Identity

Now that you know the importance of coherent branding, it’s also important to think about how you want to define yourself. Bios in social media have a finite number of characters, so you need to figure out what the most important nouns and adjectives describe you and your brand.

For me, my recovery is something that makes me unique and gives me a different perspective on things, so I like to lead with that. Without it, I wouldn’t even have this blog, so I like to give credit where credit is due.

Think about how you want people to know you. We all know the importance of first impressions.

  • What are some of your achievements?
  • How would someone describe you? (ask them if you’re not sure!)
  • What do you want people to recognize you for?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • What is your job? (if relevant to your brand)

Message

Here’s where I want to get a little more philosophical. Or psychological. Whichever works for you.

It’s easy to hide behind a computer screen. You can really be whoever you want. I think it’s easy for people to be either their true selves or a false version of themselves, both because neither has any accountability. I’ve been the recipient of some hateful comments when I’ve shared my personal story for an audience larger than you fine folks reading here today, and it always reminds me that a) people’s hate and judgement comes from what’s going on with THEM, not you, and b) it’s so much easier to be mean when you don’t have to do it to someone’s face.

On the flip side, it’s also easy to offer positive encouragement without any follow through. Many times I read in blog comments offers from people to help out when someone’s having a tough time or suggestions to meet up if they’re ever in the same place. While some of these are totally sincere, I’ve also learned from experience that it’s just as easy to be nice as it is to be mean when there’s no accountability.

Consider the following questions:

  • What information do you share on social media?
  • Would you say the same things on your personal account (if you have two) as you would on your blog or brand page?
  • Just like your social descriptions, is your content consistent?
  • Do you share the work of your peers or focus only on your own promotion? (fine if you do, just own that if it’s your decision)
  • Do you practice integrity in everything you do?

It’s easy to say things online when there’s no need to follow them up with action. Just keep in mind that this can be perceived as inauthentic and you may lose the trust of those who follow you. Don’t just tell other bloggers you support them, take some action! Share some of their posts or tell others about what they’ve written. Figure out what kind of person you want to be and convey that in all areas of your life.

Questions:

  • How consistent are your social media accounts?
  • How’s the quality of your message?
  • Any tips I’m forgetting?
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24 Comments

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 9:59 pm

      Thanks Megan!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 9:59 pm

      No doubt about that!

  1. March 9, 2016 / 7:41 am

    My ish is out of date and I should probably update it but eh.. Time!? Time is not on my side right now. Lol. Need to get back on it but one thing at a time. I initiated all my social media accounts begrudgingly. It’s all so tedious >.<!! Have a great one Erin! -Iva
    awesomelyoz recently posted…How Much Stress Is Good?My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:00 pm

      You should use some scheduling software to help out! I know what you mean though; where does all the time go??

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:01 pm

      Thanks girl! I definitely put more work into others.

  2. March 9, 2016 / 9:37 am

    This post is so timely for me.
    First – I never really focused on the whole consistency thing re: social media, but it makes so much sense. I’m going to make those changes…which leads me to:
    Second – I’ve been thinking about it forever but am finally getting the wheels turning on rebranding/self-hosting. Even with less time (a kid) my blog has become so important to me – an extension of me – that it’s time I make it what I want it to be and seek real opportunities. In the last few months I’ve focused on sharing others’ content, being more authentic in my voice (I hope) and just not caring about “fitting the mold” and my blog & “blend-ships” have grown (not much but for my tiny audience, it’s noticeable).
    Anyway, so much rambling here – sorry! This post got me thinking even more about what I’ve already been working on, so thanks for another great post!
    Catherine @ foodiecology recently posted…The breastfeeding and weaning post I was afraid to publishMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:02 pm

      Oh good I’m glad you found it helpful! I’m also working on getting back to your email I didn’t forget!

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:02 pm

      Haha that’s a good problem to have 🙂

  3. March 9, 2016 / 11:04 am

    I love this! And I totally agree, it’s super easy to pretend like we’re one thing, when we’re actually another. I really try to present the good and not-so-good AND follow through on anything I say I’m going to do.
    Ange @ Cowgirl Runs recently posted…My Training Plan for the Calgary Half MarathonMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:03 pm

      Keep up the good work girl!

  4. March 9, 2016 / 4:10 pm

    Great post! I agree that it’s important to have the same pic and bio across all accounts. I think my twitter profile is slightly different but mostly the same and I plan to go add my email address to all of them.

    It took me a while to find my blogging voice. I was definitely letting my actually personality shine through when I first started blogging. Once I did I saw so much more engagement and made actual friends!
    Rosey Rebecca recently posted…Odd’s Cafe In West Asheville (Giveaway!)My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:04 pm

      Thanks Rebecca! Yeah, sincerity and authenticity are so important. If you don’t have that, people can usually see right through it.

  5. March 9, 2016 / 9:33 pm

    I’m starting to segment my social media accounts based on my personas. There’s Maggie – the “real” normal me. Then there’s Mag Mile Runner – the active side of myself, which is still me. And then there’s my burlesque stage persona, Kitten Von Purr, who is a more glam version of me. They’re all me in some way, but I know that Mag Mile Runner and Kitten Von Purr have very different audiences, so they have separate FB pages and Instagram accounts. And then there’s my “personal” stuff which is a hybrid and more every day me and I try to keep branded stuff off my “personal” accounts. Sometimes it feels like too much, but thankfully social media apps have evolved and make it easier to manage multple accounts! I worry that anyone who just follows me on one account doesn’t get a full picture of who I am, but I’m OK with that. In some cases I do link to my other accounts if they want to see a more rounded version of me.
    Maggie recently posted…Glam WeekendMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 9, 2016 / 10:04 pm

      Man that makes me tired just reading it! It sounds like you have everything worked out really well though. I need to get on that kitten von purr. You so fancy.

  6. March 10, 2016 / 3:34 pm

    Great post Erin this is all so true. You have to be authentic. Even though my vision for my blog and social media has changed I try to keep 100% real with people who follow me. I agree my struggle with Anxiety is what made me create my blog so I try to also stick with giving credit where credit is due in that aspect as well. My main hope is that it will help someone else. I get frustrated when I feel like I share and promote other bloggers but they do not do the same in return. It even makes me want to stop to be honest. Then I remember that is not my nature and if I read something I really like I’ll share it regardless. Thanks again.
    Ivanna recently posted…I’M AWAY RENEWING MY SPIRIT + MIND BE BACK SOONMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 11, 2016 / 11:20 am

      Thanks Ivanna! Glad you were able to get something out of it 🙂

  7. March 11, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    Love these tips! I think I am consistent with my identity on all accounts, especially the profile picture, which can be easily looked past..as in, I can see how one would choose a different profile pic for each, because profile pics can be fun! But having someone be able to recognize your face across accounts is key.
    I love that you chose your strong accounts and said “not right now” to others. I haven’t jumped on the Periscope train yet, and use Pinterest but don’t make “pinnable” images. Not there yet.
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Slowcooker Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho Ga)My Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 12, 2016 / 7:47 am

      I still pin all your posts anyway, but your food ones would be especially good as pinnable images. Super quick in Canva!!

  8. March 13, 2016 / 9:56 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot. It’s made me think, ‘If someone met me in person,’ would they say, ‘Wow, you’re so much different from your online personality or what you write about yourself online,’ or would they say that I’m honest. Only by God’s grace, can I not be a hypocrite or inconsistent on who I am online and in real life. <3 THank you for getting me to think Erin! Thank you for keeping us accountable on being kind and truly compassionate.
    Emily recently posted…From the Bondage of Fear to FreedomMy Profile

    • erinsinsidejob
      March 15, 2016 / 4:58 pm

      Keep on being you girl!

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