Who is Managing Your Online Presence? (Trick question)

Posted on February 12, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Who speaks for you online?j01785951

Are you writing your own blogs (with the occasional guest post), creating your own Tweets, and updating your own status on Facebook? Is the person behind your profile picture really you – or have you given that job to someone else?

Looking for the Real McCoy
If you are a small business owner, or someone whose livelihood depends on sharing their expertise with the larger world, then I sure hope that the “you” appearing with your name, face and profile is the Real McCoy.

Why “Managed” Accounts Give Me the Willies
When I hear that colleagues in the still-developing social media field are “managing accounts for their clients”, I have to admit that my gut reaction is “uh-oh”. I get visions of the kind of status updates and Twitter posts that are all talk and no listen. You know – the spammy ones that promise you 5 ways to lose 7 lbs. by next week. The stream of quotes without saying anything in their own voice. The “I just want you to know about me” attitude.

“And Accepting the Oscar On Behalf Of…”
Here’s the thing: social media can certainly help you promote your business. But if you are giving it all to someone else to manage – well, it’s like sending your publicist to an important network event where people are looking for YOUR expertise. Sorry, at some point, YOU have to show up, and give value. You have to be present, and be willing to listen, to share, and to engage.

Social Media Builds Relationships In Real Time – With Real People
You If you put together a bunch of profiles on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo and ignore them, or delegate their maintenance entirely to someone else, then perhaps social media is not for you. And that’s ok. Before I saw that I can be both my personal self and my business self on Facebook, I ignored the place for months at at a time. It was fun for contacting long-lost highschool friends, but apart from that, it seemed like a bit of a time waster.  I didn’t understand that it could an important tool for cultivating present-day relationships (including some that extend waaay back) both for personal growth and business development.

If you put together those accounts and then give them entirely to someone else to manage, you are missing out on some of the chief benefits of using social media in the first place, and those are:

  • to build relationships
  • to enhance your credibility
  • to help other people
  • to exchange ideas
  • to learn from others
  • to build more relationships
  • to promote your services (to be sure…)
  • did I mention to build relationships?

You Can Use Social Media and Still Have a Life
I use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter as key marketing tools for my business – make no mistake. And I am happy help other people do so as well. I’ll point you to dozens of wonderful tools to help you be productive in your time online, and even automate some of what you do.  I’ll help you create knock-out profiles the tell the world how terrific you are.  I’ll edit your blog posts, if you give me the raw material.  I’ll even set things up for you so you can be “everywhere at once” with the push of a couple of buttons.

I Won’t Tweet For You – And Here’s Why
But I won’t Tweet for you.  I don’t want to pretend to be you.  And I hope you don’t want that either.  Because ultimately, one of the main benefits of social media is that you are building credibility and trust with people that you want in your life, both for business and for fun.  It’s hard to do that when you are not there in the first place. Even harder when you’re not being honest about who represents you.

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7 Responses to “Who is Managing Your Online Presence? (Trick question)”

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Ok, I get it! There is a balance with this as in everything I coach.

Value comes from what you bring to the table, there is a place for “Automation & Authenticity”(my next blog post).

Thanks for talking about it!

Nice post! Very thoughtful, full of timely information. A model for my own blog!

Great article Catherine, and so true. You must do your own writing; otherwise it comes across shallow and lacking passion.

Narina Prokosch
http://blog.victoriawellness.com

This is like the child who declared the Emperor has no clothes! Authenticity is key and you just can’t delegate that. There are things someone can do on your behalf, but definitely not posting pompous statements or slimy pitches. Thanks for this great post!

I just twitter as stress relief or something anyways. Didn’t join for business purposes, but am gathering ideas as I go along, good read. I’d only disagree if it became obvious that the tweeter had absolutely no personality, but then they would be destined for a big Fail anyways.

You’re an automotive and tire guy – it might be interesting for you to set up a couple of Twitter searches for people talking about that area. It never hurts to share what you know and are passionate about, even if said person is from Tulsa, OK. A community of Twitterers is developing in Victoria, and we’ll read those posts. Could be fun!

[…] me, that crosses the boundary into unethical or ill-advised practice.  So does handing over your identity to a ghostwriting tweet – at least without disclosure that you are doing so.  But surely there are 100 wonderful, ethical […]


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