Curating a Social Me
Quite simply put, I am conflicted when it comes to my personal brand. Do I focus on appealing to a wide range of people, including family members, friends, future employers and people promoting the latest fitness/diet/clothing/beauty product? Do I develop a strong aesthetic to appeal to a more creative audience? Or do I finally decide to scrap it all and abandon an online presence?
I do not like admitting how much thought I put into each post on my social media pages because it seems vain and relatively unimportant with all of the chaos going on around the world. But the fact of the matter is that my global presence is something I take seriously and weigh cautiously. Before every post, I debate how my photo, caption and overall message will come across to my followers. I have found that it impossible to appeal to every single person who follows me, so with time, I have become less neurotic about how my account will be perceived. I do, however, always consider what my posts, likes and shares will mean for my future employment.
For me, it is never worth it to be associated with something crude or unlawful on social media because it will directly damage my personal brand. Although I think continuity is important to creating a successful global presence, each one of my social mediums represents a unique and distinct part of who I am.
I undoubtedly put the most effort into what I post on my Instagram account. I like the combination of creativity and substance within the content on Instagram. This social medium is difficult to use in a professional sense because I think it offers a more intimate look into someone’s life. Nevertheless, there is substantial potential to promote what you stand for as a person through who you follow, what you post and how your feed looks. I use a free app called UNUM, which allows me to plan, design and edit the photos I add to my Instagram grid. I think looking at the overall look of a profile is helpful when thinking of cultivating a global, personal brand.
My Facebook account has evolved into a mix of personal and professional content. I mostly post pictures and share articles that I want both my friends and family to see. I don’t typically use my Facebook account as a way to network, but I have gotten jobs based off of seeing others’ posts or joining groups with other journalism students. I think Facebook can be a helpful resource when searching for local events and trying to stay connected with a wider audience than Instagram and Twitter.
I seem to be the most reluctant when it comes to this social medium. As of now, my Twitter account is solely used for professional purposes. I think including funny personal tweets is a slippery slope when it comes to Twitter. The ability of a tweet being misconstrued and going viral on Twitter has cost many people their jobs, scholarships and most importantly, their image. I find it hard to get into Twitter because it is the least cohesive social feed. Tweets can range from very specific memes to declarations from the president.
Every moment, it becomes increasingly important to develop a global brand through social media. The potential to create meaningful social profiles that offer an intimate look into a person’s life is an incredible asset to reaching a worldwide audience. That being said, it is much easier to damage your reputation now that pictures, videos and posts can be published to an immediate space. Curating a personal brand is a task that should infuse your own creativity and personality with the sensibilities of knowing who your audience is.