The Daily Blur is delighted to present an article from one of our favorite young writers. A member of the southern branch of our extended family, Ellen Schneider.
Imagine you are shopping for the latest bestseller. Obviously wanting the best price, you stop by Target, Barnes and Nobel, and Walmart to investigate. After spending several hours wandering the aisles, you discover each store sells the book, but with completely different covers and plot summaries. At Target, the book jacket describes get a whodunit mystery, while Walmart’s version hints at a stirring romance novel. Your task of purchasing a particular title just got a lot more confusing!
Until recently this is how I functioned online – putting forth completely different messages and concerns on each of my social media platforms.
Taking time to standardize each social media profile – Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Tumblr, even LinkedIn, creates a useful consistency that can often be the difference between perusing the pastime of social media, and engaging the tool of social networking.
Here are a few somewhat cliché “truths” that can assist in forming a consistent online presence:
1. Everyone wants something. And so should you.
If you cannot specifically verbalize what you hope to achieve from your online profiles – you’re doing it wrong. Establishing consistency starts with formulating what I’ll call your “ultimate concern”. Perhaps it’s as simple as more subscribers or followers for your blog, or an interview at your dream job. Now take this brainstorm further – what visitors to your profile would help you achieve your ultimate concern, and what impression should they receive from your profiles? After articulating the ultimate concern, you are better equipped to clearly communicate the concern online.
2. Always remember your past…and delete it, if necessary.
Before framing your profiles to mirror your ultimate concern, it is important to take a jaunt down memory lane. In order to maximize your credibility, take a few hours and reread every previous post on any of your profiles. Deleting everything not directly related to your concern is not necessary, but deleting everything that contradicts your concern is essential. While the likelihood that one of your online connections will “stalk” your activity for several years is quite low, features like Facebook’s Timeline accommodate quick trips of nostalgia for any curious individual. Trust me, it will be painful – especially if you began your social media life during your pre-teens. Block out a few hours, sit down with your laptop, and be prepared to cringe.
3. To thine own self be true on all thy profiles.
While sly name changes and different profile pictures may seem like a great way to disassociate your “casual” profile from your professional one, using a common email address or following the same people on every site makes it easy for individuals to link your profiles. If your Twitter showcases a completely different person from your Facebook, you weaken your personal credibility and that of your ultimate concern. To establish a consistent profile, make sure you are both figuratively and literally putting forth the same image. Whether it is a logo or a perfectly cropped picture of your face, the main picture on each of your profiles should be either the same or distinctly alike. Similarly, your “biography” or “about me” section should resemble each other closely. You are one person. Make sure this is evident on all sites.
4. Consistency starts on Day Two.
So your profiles proudly display the same image and biography, and support your ultimate concern. You’re almost there! Remember, you technically haven’t achieved the title of a “consistent” social networker until Day Two. Continue to stay cognizant of your ultimate concern while you post, tweet, and pin.