I could not have imagined the place social media would hold in my life and my business when I created Facebook and Twitter accounts in 2008. Ten years later and wow what a ride!
Had I known how this would unfold over the next ten years, I would have approached things differently.
Hindsight, you know, for what it’s worth.
Because how could I have known that ten years later Facebook groups would provide such value to my life and my business? How could I have known I would be connected with people all over the world, ranging in age from 10 to over 80? How could I have known that I would have the opportunity to learn and connect with so many amazing, intelligent, gifted people? And how could I have known that social media would also allow me to glimpse behind the veil and see folks presenting themselves as experts who are anything but that!
Nope, no way I could have known. But if I had, I would have done things differently. Here are a few things I would have done differently and how I now approach social media.
The Imposter Syndrome
But first I want to talk about the elephant in the room — feeling like an imposter. If this plagues any area of your life, social media will bring it out in all its glory! Well, at least it did for me.
All the sudden, I had all these amazing and intelligent people “in my life” doing amazing things, and I often felt like an imposter. Oh, sure, I’ve done a few pretty amazing things in my life as well, but I’m entirely self-taught in my current line of work. So I often found myself looking to others for guidance. Taking courses, joining groups (yea, social media not only brings people into your life but opportunities you would not have known about before), and forgetting that I too had years of experience and a wealth of knowledge.
Learning is a lifetime journey for sure, but we also need to acknowledge and honor those areas where we’ve excelled. Where we know what the hell we are talking about. In other words, there comes a time when we become the expert, the teacher, and not only the student.
And that requires shedding the imposter syndrome.
- Own and honor your gifts.
- Stand firm and proud in those areas where you’ve invested time, effort, and energy to learn and hone your skills.
- Sift and evaluate before accepting or bestowing expert/authority status on those you know only online.
- If you are feeling insecure about something, consider not posting or responding until you work through that. Of course, it’s okay to feel insecure but posting or reacting to something only from a place of insecurity doesn’t serve us. Remember your gifts, your reservoir of wisdom, and bring that into the mix as well.
It’s so easy to just be “in the moment” on social media as a lot of the interactions happen in real time. Resist that. Don’t start typing until you’ve taken a moment to reflect.
Your writing (and your social media activity) represent you in absentia as the thoughtful, profound part of your being.
How do you want to be portrayed? As kind and intelligent or as rash and harsh? I know, someone posts something that stirs you up and you post a quick, knee-jerk response. I’ve done it, we’ve all done it.
Sure, times are changing, people getting their news from soundbites and tweets, but do you go with the flow or do you choose to be conscious and aware?
We each have a choice in how we respond and interact. Let’s choose thoughtful, intelligent, and considerate.
Be Your Best
The adage, “quality over quantity,” rings true when sharing content on social media.
One quality blog post is better than ten crappy ones! Why is that?
- Quality content is engaging.
- Quality content builds trust and a following.
- Quality content has a long shelf life.
- Quality content can be repurposed into other forms of content (video, audio, etc.).
And I’m sure it goes without saying — but hey I’ll say it anyway — quality content makes you look good. Remember, our writing and social media activities represent us in absentia, so make it good! It will serve you and your business well for the long term.
More is not always better, especially when it comes to social media. More friends, more followers, more content, more groups and pretty soon you can be drowning in all the noise.
So be smart when engaging on social media.
- Carefully choose which groups you join based on the value the group provides you and the value you can share with the group over time.
- Optimize your social media activity by engaging in the platforms you most enjoy. Don’t force yourself to jump on another platform because “everyone” else is doing it. If it’s not fun, it’s not going to bring benefit to anyone.
- Choose your friends wisely. More is not always better here. Sure it can be, but it can also just create a lot of noise in your world.
- Share your thoughts and ideas intelligently and be considerate of those with opposing views and ideas.
Aim for clarity and quality, and you’ll have a better time online.
Your content and social media activity represent you long after you are “gone.” So make it good, for you and for those in your circle.
Show up. Be your best. Be thoughtful and considerate as you engage with others.