Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What's Your Brand?

Athlete, health-conscious, traveler.

  I came across an article last week I thought had an interesting concept:   
            What are you known for?
  As in, what do your social media 'jottings' say about you?

  In this, the era of social media, we are essentially able to create our own 'legacy'. It's true. If we participate in social media, we are building our own brand, solidifying our reputation, and selling ourselves.

  It also feeds into one of the biggest criticisms of our era.

The 'Me' Generation
  Probably the biggest criticism of social media in general, is that it feeds the 'me generation'. It's all about what I'm doing, where I'm going, what I'm buying, what I'm eating, and so on.

The things you see on the road.
  That might be the extreme way to look it it. But I agree, social media can lead to ego. It's the world we are living in, however, and just like everything else, it's important we find a balance.

  I think social media has an incredible amount of positive that comes with it as well. 

  Whatever your feelings toward social media are, one thing is for sure: it's here to stay. So we might as well get used to it, and learn how to best benefit from it.

Your Reputation on the Line
  That being said, what do your postings elicit from followers, readers, friends? Are they positive or negative feelings? What do your Twitter account, your Facebook profile, your blog posts, your Instagram pictures say about you?

  That's your reputation. Whether you mean to or not, those are the traits you are exuding.

  Putting it that way makes it interesting thing to think about. And more significant. Each and every thing we post stands alone; it's an individual piece of information. But over time, a brand is developed and those postings become your reputation.

  Are you representing yourself the way you want?

You can find your niche anywhere.
  It's one thing for people who know you. But many times with social media and the internet, people don't know you 'in real life'. They just know you based on what you post.

  Maybe you say, 'who cares?' or 'we shouldn't care about what others think about us.'

  I think that is true to a certain extent -- we need to be ourselves. But when it comes to social media, and potentially, our careers, I think that's a naive perspective to have.

  It's not to say you should hold back. Be your true self. Be proud of the person you are, and the things you are saying and doing.

  If it's important to you, it's something to think about.

  For me, as someone who is entering the job market, it makes me more aware. Before, as a (somewhat) public figure as a basketball player, I was always conscious of the things I posted on my social media accounts. But I am even more cognizant of it now.

  You always want to put your best foot forward. Always.

  Outside of the obvious, here are a few things I've learned on the fly about social media:
  1. It's not about what you do, it's about who you are. Let your personality shine through. 
  2. Sarcasm doesn't always translate. 
  3. Think before you post, you never know who's reading. 
  4. You never know who's reading, in turn leads to: you never know who you can connect with, and where things may lead. 
  5. News travels quickly -- in the past several years, I learned of the most important news events via social media and Twitter. 
  6. You can have amazing conversations and interactions with people you don't know, and may never meet.
  Whatever we use social media for, and whether we mean to or not, we're building a brand. For me, I think my brand is three things: athlete, traveler, and health-conscious. That's what I would think, but I really don't know for certain.

  What's your brand?



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