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. 🙂
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.
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
- email address
- same picture
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)
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.
- How consistent are your social media accounts?
- How’s the quality of your message?
- Any tips I’m forgetting?