Joe Hall at Marketing Pilgrim has a great post up… I think he does a great job of breaking down his advice into the simplest possible terms:
How To be Yourself in Social Media
- Don’t read stupid bullet points about how to be yourself, write your own.
- Don’t be witty, unless of course you already are witty, in which case: carry on.
- Don’t look for exposure by doing something uncharacteristic.
- Don’t follow the leader and hang out with the cool kids.
- Talk about what you enjoy and makes you happy.
- Quit trying to be something and just be you.
Of the hundreds of posts I’ve seen offering "rules" for social media, this might be my favorite. Fail to follow these, he warns, and you’ll come off like this guy:
Source: Flickr; Marketing Pilgrim; your worst nightmare
The relentless crush for attention and traffic online can make normally sane, interesting people act like idiots. Idiots get attention, yes; but is it really the attention you want? If you really are the guy dressed up as a unicorn, then great, and God bless the Internet for making it possible for you to find others like you and celebrate your shared, um, interests. Most of us aren’t that guy.
I would add two more rules to the list above… these aren’t principles that relate just to how people interact online; they simply describe how people relate to each other, in any way. They will hold true in every situation.
- To be noticed, you have to stand out
- To be respected and trusted, you have to be yourself
If you are in a room full of people shouting, you have two strategies to get attention; you either shout louder or you do something different from everyone else. A quick turn online will show you how many people are stuck on the first strategy.