It is important to "be yourself" on social media

Has anyone ever told you to “just be yourself” when talking about how you should act? This idea applies just as much to social media as it does to in-person interactions. Acting in a way that people expect will help you to expand your social media influence and enjoy the interactions you have with others.

Growing up there were a number of times that I was told to “be myself” by a family member or friend. Sometimes it was when I was getting ready to go on a first date and was unsure of what to talk about. Other times it was when I was going on a job interview and didn’t know how to act to impress the hiring manager. The idea that my family and friends were trying to get across to me was that if I acted in a way that was true to myself people would either love or hate me for who I am. Not everyone is going to like you, and thats ok. But to have good relationships with others you have to be yourself. They want to truly interact with you and see the type of person that you are.

It may have been years since you have heard that saying, or had someone say it to you. While many things in the world have changed, this saying is as true today as it was the last time you heard it. Whether you are aware of it or not, people have an opinion about you. They expect to see and hear certain things from you. When you act in a way that is not in-line with the image they have of you it can seem fake or inauthentic. Knowing what people think of you is very important to figuring out how to act in social media.

3 questions to help you be yourself on social media:

  1. What kind of interaction do others expect to have with you? Do you usually talk business during personal interactions? Or do leave your work at the office and never talk business while with friends and family? Maybe you are somewhere in the middle. Knowing where you are will help you decide how many business vs personal updates/posts you should focus on in your social media strategy.
  2. How talkative are you? Do you go out of your way to talk to strangers? Or are you more reserved? This can help you decide how to approach growing your network on social media platforms.
  3. What is your personality? Do you like to joke around or are you more serious? Play into your personality and make your updates/posts fit who you are.

But, what if you want to change the way you currently are to be more successful on social media? Maybe you are very reserved and serious, and feel that your social sphere would respond better to a more light hearted and relaxed stance. Just because you are a certain way currently doesn’t mean that you can’t make changes to get where you want to be. The key is to know where you are and then slowly implement tactics to get you to where you want to be in your social media. Make you new types of interaction a portion of your overall interaction. For example you could start out with them being 10% to 20% of your total interactions, and slowly increase that percentage over time.

It’s important to start with who you are, and what people expect. Then you can build upon that to develop the influence you would like to have. Over time you will see what works and what doesn’t work on each social media platform.

Question: Which social media platform do you feel the most comfortable interacting on? Join in on the conversation on Facebook or Twitter!