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Be Positive: Why Your Social Media Persona Really Does Matter

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.

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

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:

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.!/StayLerner/status/288399742067675136

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.

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

Comments on this Article: 14

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  1. comocom says:

    Enjoyed reading this post! Fully support your idea to be positive! Be helpful – this is actually the reason why we share interesting info: to give recommendations and the right direction to follow. Great that you’ve summed up everything. Thanks for your work.

  2. So glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for the comment.

  3. A good rule of thumb is to never post anything you don’t want your mom or clients to see. I try to stay positive and position myself as a resource on social media.

  4. Simon Mossman says:

    Peg, great post. Glad you also highlighted “2. Be interesting”

    Among the trends/imperatives likely to emerge this year will be the need for businesses to be interesting.

    It’s an incredibly noisy, overcrowded and uber-competitive global market out there with many businesses desperately competing for consumer eyeballs; consumers who are overwhelmed by information and content overload.

    Developing more interesting brand personas (individuals and businesses) will be key to being noticed this year and beyond.

  5. It’s good that you brought up this topic as many have been careless about their social media persona, time and again. If there’s one lesson I’ve learned online, it’s that – there’s really such a thing called ‘digital karma’ and you will receive what you give. So yes.. positivity matters above all and on top of that, careful use of punctuations. Thanks for reminding us all!

  6. I’m pretty new to Twitter so thanks for sharing these great tips. I’ll be sure to check back Monday for your next post :)

  7. Great post! Serves as a good reminder to adhere to the correct persona. Some of us may not be as positive in all of our social personas. Often I find some personas need to be highly critical to be differentiating. Being critical isn’t always positive.

    • There are those that like to put a wrench in the cog for impact which is fine from time to time. We can’t all agree on everything, that would be boring, but intelligent debates are built from respect not negativity.

  8. Great post and something we should keep in mind for all parts of our life. Also great comments by others. Thanks.

    • Peggy Fitzpatrick says:

      So glad you liked it. It’s wonderful when something connects with readers. Thanks for chiming in.

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