Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | July 25, 2012

If You Want Moves Like Jagger

In an impromptu survey of peers my age, it is easy to acknowledge that you would never survive if it wasn’t for some aspect of social media. YouTube and Facebook are less than 10-years-old and many of my day-to-day activities, work related functions or future anticipations are posted within any one of the many medias for public consumption.

They say good news travels fast, but these days if there is an unflattering picture, or worse an on-the-fly video attached, it is likely going viral. If you want to be star, just do something.  Anything. Then launch it. This phenomenon has catapulted the careers and reputations of mere mortals (some more appropriate than others) to meteoric fame. Type the names “Justin Bieber”, “Walk off the Earth”, or “Lego Man Canada” into YouTube and you will quickly learn what I am talking about.

If I was to run for a public office or position, I would be aware that my personal and professional background would be on display. I’m aware that my family and I would be picked apart from stem to stern and everything I/we did, with whom I/we did it and the associated perceptions would be open for public scrutiny.

So what does this mean to a business woman such as myself who is trying to sell my strong belief in professional ethics to mortals who want to make an impact in their own profession?

Many already do without knowing it. But are you making the impression you think you are? As adults, we are in the public eye. We are visible and accessible on public forums. We market to the public to look for, and at us, in the name of creating new business. What is the message you want to convey?

It is relatively easy for anyone with a little Internet experience to set up a business/fan page to complement a personal Facebook profile.  If the first one is found, usually the second one will be as well. The most important key in Social media is; “disconnect between the two is the challenge”.

The business page is corporate and professional with wonderful wall posts and information.  The second often resembles a virtual high school cafeteria complete with gossip and relationship drama. And that’s BEFORE we’ve adjusted our privacy settings.

Ask yourself: How do I respond to other’s posts? What kind of language do I use? What kinds of posts do I share?

If you’re like me, jousting and bantering in the locker room or the proverbial water cooler is one thing. Making a sideways comment for the world to see is another, particularly in an environment where your impression is as instant as the number of eyes that happen to be online at that moment.

There are no ethics police or etiquette classes yet for conduct in social media, although so-called experts have cautioned Professionals about pitching “all the time”. Not everyone at the party cares about your latest sale, latest purchase or your latest multiple transaction woes. So the question becomes, how do I manage the public platform of my personal life?

Let’s start with friends. Personally I love my friends, but within the Social Media, I am selective as to whom I have “friended”. Of those who I have befriended, many I did because their humour and wit inspires and enlightens me. Having said that; if I see a particularly “wild” post, I remove it off my wall. If it persists, I message them with a request for help. If it continues still, I have to cut them loose, lest their views or behaviour reflect on me.

I would be remiss in not commenting on the pictures, videos, reposts and any of the thousands of requests for games on the platform. I screen and filter all that there is to see on my page. It’s my role as a professional to ensure exclusive content that is in keeping with my core beliefs and my professional mission statement.

I allow the public and my clientele to see me with my hair down so they can get to know me in both my personal and professional elements. After all, I am a person. I am a wife with two very impressionable daughters. I have a life outside of being a Real Estate Profession and it generally involves family and friends.  I love to socialize, I love to ride motorbikes and in fact I own a few. I love physical work, where at the end of the day I can see results for what I have done and in all this I want you to see the best of me within all of that.

What I don’t want you to see, and not because I’m a hypocrite, is what is private to me, and those who may have been there with me. I give myself permission to close the door and draw the drapes.

The platform allows me to edit and share what I deem appropriate, and hopefully not invite criticism for lack of transparency. We owe it to ourselves to be the keeper of the gate and decide what we are willing to share, and when. Sometimes our choices, which at the time seemed like the thing to do, can actually roll back on us and cause us harm. A lost sale, a lost prospect, lost revenue.

We won’t likely know until it is too late to repair. Ultimately my message is this; if you want Moves Like Jagger, make sure the video of you is flattering and the record label thinks so too.

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