15/08/2012

By Alexia Leachman, Personal Branding Coach At Blossoming Brands

Using Facebook

For many, this is their favoured social network and is essentially their digital home. As such, people can become quite precious about their timeline. So, what can you do to ensure that your posts are not hidden, or worse still, you’re unfriended? As a general rule, keep your timeline varied and relevant.

Avoid filling your timeline with updates that aren’t posted in Facebook. This includes any status updates that are suffixed with #fb (posted in Twitter), or posted via external apps such as Foursquare or Instagram. I’m not saying avoid entirely, just don’t do it all the time.

While sometimes it might be appropriate to duplicate an update in Facebook as well as the network you’re using, some of your “friends” might get incredibly annoyed by this. Why? Well, there are those who don’t use those networks and might feel like they “don’t’ get it” (“Foursquare? Why would I want to tell people where I am?!”). And then there are those that DO use them, but are also connected to you in those places so they end up seeing everything twice. Equally annoying. However, a possible result of this excessive duplication means that they might just hide your updates, and that means that you’re no longer on their radar. At all. Bad news.

I’m not even going to mention games like Farmville because that should be pretty self-explanatory!

What’s your update style?

With Facebook, it’s also worth considering the type of status that you share. Anything overtly professional and in-your-face business or sales-y may be considered something that’s better kept for LinkedIn, while a constant update of every thought that enters your mind might be perceived as banal and boring, not to mention, noisy. This is equally annoying and may indeed lead people to think that you’ve got nothing better to do or aren’t very busy. Neither of these are great perceptions to be creating. Unless you want to build a strong brand as someone who is banal and boring, in which case, don’t let me stop you!

It’s important to consider the people who you are connected to you in Facebook and share the appropriate type of information.

Using LinkedIn

When it comes to LinkedIn, some of the above will still stand. Thankfully, the recent decision by Twitter to no longer allow automatic posts to LinkedIn means that LinkedIn is now less noisy than it used to be, and for many, this will improve the user experience. These comments on Mashable www.mashable.com/2012/06/29/twitter-drops-linkedin-partnership/ summarise opinions of this decision and on cross posting.

- “I think it will improve the LinkedIn experience, I want to see professional messages in LinkedIn, not the personal tweets”

- “It was too easy for people to accidentally (or purposefully!) feed their tweets into LinkedIn (status updates, group posts, etc.). It became too much noise for an otherwise quiet setting. It was like the loud person on their phone sitting next to you in the library. Please take it outside… :)”

- “I think this is great news. I’ve never believed that Tweets have a home on LinkedIn. I see Twitter as a social melting pot where all posts are welcome, but other networks don’t work this way. Especially LinkedIn.”

This is the best place to be sharing your professional awesomeness. Just remember to communicate it in a style that doesn’t turn people off. Too much bragging, showing off or indeed selling, is the quickest way to be hidden or disconnected. Some people think that once you’re connected on LinkedIn, you’re happy to accept sales emails every week. This is NOT acceptable and is spam.

Twitter

Twitter is fantastic because like one of the comments above says; “…it’s like a social melting pot, all posts are welcome.” So in this space, we can tweet whatever we like, and we have the opportunity to share all aspects of ourselves. After all, we don’t have any influence over who’s following and because different users use Twitter for different reasons, our best bet is just to be ourselves. All of ourselves. The more we open up, the more hooks we create for people to connect to us with. You might be a business bigshot, but if you love motor biking and talk about that aspect of your life, then you’ll probably pick up a few motor biking fans that might not be business-types. And that’s great. Who knows where that might lead?


Alexia Leachman is a Personal Brand Coach and Head Trash Liberator at Blossoming Brands. She helps entrepreneurs find their mojo by helping them to clear their head trash, tell their story, raise their profile, build their digital presence and manage their reputation. She is also the contributor of a chapter on Online Reputation for an up and coming book on Internet Marketing due out in November 2012. You can find out more at www.blossomingbrands.com, www.headtrash.co.uk. And you can follow her on Twitter at @AlexiaL and @BBrands