In my work helping organizations develop and promote their online engagement strategies, one of the most common questions I am asked is “what do I say?” For those of us who actively work in the world of social and digital media, finding things to say isn’t always hard. But for many organizations, being able to Tweet, post updates and blog their thoughts can be challenging — even if they have effectively outlined their key messages and goals. Talking about one’s work doesn’t always come naturally. We don’t want to sound like a braggart or overwhelm our followers with irrelevant posts.
Of course, the truth is if it’s related to who you are, what you do and what your customers want, it isn’t irrelevant or overwhelming; it’s helpful and valuable information. Therefore, I advise those who are cautious about posting to social media channels to ask themselves “Am I adding value?” If the answers is YES, post away. If you are unsure, take a step back and figure out what’s standing in the way.
For many people, at first glimpse, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, among others, are merely platforms for individuals to brag about how far they ran, where they are going and what they are eating. It’s not always inherently obvious that these platforms can be valuable tools for sharing and collecting information, while engaging with others.
This advice isn’t just helpful for organizations and small businesses; it’s also helpful for developing your personal brand. As we know, being an active social media user means that what you say is exposed for the world to see. That means, employers, potential partners, roommates, customers, and more will be looking to your online presence to determine if you’re worthy of being trusted, authentic, and responsible. Asking if you are adding value to the conversations can help you determine if you’re being thoughtful or snarky (or both). Just because you can comment, post, reply and share your thoughts and opinions, doesn’t mean that they’re going to add value to the conversation taking place.
Separating the personal from the professional (and vice versa) can be tricky, but ultimately if you seek to add value aligning them will make it easier.