You are the Face of Social Media

Ok kids, time to lose the egg and the faceless profiles. The first word in social media is SOCIAL. How about we get a little personal here and start humanizing the digital experience? No matter the reason you engage in social media activity, either for personal or professional reasons you did so to meet new people, learn, share, network and build relationships.

No Face on Social Media

photo credit: Masked-Bob via photopin cc

Would you walk up to a prospect in person with your face covered up? What about wearing a logo mask over your head? That would be a bit awkward, don’t you think?

Technology is great, social media rocks. Mobile is cool and people are still people. While technology has changed the vehicles we use  the game is still the same, people want to do business with other people. Just because we use technology to help us run more efficiently, it doesn’t mean we should become completely impersonal.

It is well documented on this site the value of social media, from marketing to promotions, networking and referral traffic the list goes on and on. Social media does a lot. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. After all, this experience is all about YOU.  So go ahead and share a little about yourself.

Whether you are using social networks as an individual or as a brand, make it human. Humanize yourself and your brand by including a picture and a name. Make it clear with whom your audience is engaging with.

How do we go about doing this you ask? You can start by answering these questions about you and/or your brand?

1. Start with yourself.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What are your interests?
  • What makes you special, unique or different?
  • What is your role and relationship to your business?

2. Now for your business.

  • What business are you in?
  • How can you help?
  • Where do you operate?
  • Where can I find out more info? i.e. Include companies URL
  • Who are we engaging with (answer posts)?

Why is it important to attach a face to social media?

  1. Social Media is a great platform for networking but your goal should be to migrate the conversation and relationship into the “Real World”. In Real Life (IRL), we have names and faces that go along with our knowledge and personalities. Wouldn’t you rather have a conversation with a person’s name instead of a brand name or a logo?
  2. People want to follow and engage with real people. By not including a picture, you will affect the number of people who follow or connect with you. No one wants to follow an egg on twitter. Nor do they want to network or connect with a faceless profile on LinkedIn.
  3. Social is all about sharing and building relationships. When it comes to Social Media, you have to give in-order to receive. The easiest way to give is to share, start by sharing something about yourself. Like a picture, where you live, what you like or what interests you. The easiest part of social media should be sharing information about you. There is no right or wrong answer, no trick question. Just be personal and be yourself, you know… be social.

How do you feel about profiles that don’t include a picture? Do you think spam or being are missing the point? Please leave a comment below!

 

David Schwartz
David is a Brand Strategist, Architect and Mentor focused on building relevant brands, while creating valuable consumer relationships to promote engagement. By utilizing the popularity of digital and mobile media, along with the social web he helps companies understand the power of controlling their content. David started his career working for MTV in New York, he then proceeded to Atlanta to work with the likes of Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A and the Home Depot. From his time working with companies of all sizes he has learned that a strong brand is the key to long term success by turning customers into brand advocates. Now living in Nashville with his wife and two children, David works with companies of all sizes teaching and consulting on best practices for building a brand in the digital age.
David Schwartz
David Schwartz

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Comments

  1. newraycom says:

    This is one of my pet peeves. I refuse to follow anyone without a profile photo. That's easy.
    What takes more time is trying to figure out whether you should follow someone who leaves little info on their profile page.
    They obviously don't get the "social" part of the media. Or they're simply missing social skills.
    Really, how engaged can you be with an egg?

  2. rayhiltz says:

    This is one of my pet peeves. I refuse to follow anyone without a profile photo. That's easy.
    What takes more time is trying to figure out whether you should follow someone who leaves little info on their profile page.
    They obviously don't get the "social" part of the media. Or they're simply missing social skills.
    Really, how engaged can you be with an egg?

  3. BrandEdu says:

    I am with you Ray. If I see an egg on Twitter, they automatically don't get a follow unless the person just signed up for twitter that day. LinkedIn is the one that amazes me, I just don't understand not including a photo. As for sharing personal information, if you aren't willing to share anything about yourself what are you really hoping to gain from social. How invested can you be?

  4. Ted Rubin says:

    Well done David. I canot tell you how many times I have this conversation with bloggers, brands and unfortunately the agencies representing the brands who can be full of bad advice. I even have to reiterate it to my own team sometimes. How can you truly be social if people do not know who you are. Don't be afraid and do not ever believe you are protecting your privacy. First, how can you be taken seriously if ou are hiding behind a wall. Second… the bad guys can always find you, it is the good guys… the people, brands, politicians you want to influence who will not.

  5. BrandEdu says:

    Thanks Ted. It's a transparent world, no sense in hiding.

  6. Daniel Hebert says:

    Great post David!

    I actually gave a workshop on LinkedIn last spring at a local Chamber of Commerce. One of the points I made was this – If you would go to a networking event with a bag on your head, hand off your business card to someone and say "Hey, I'm Daniel, now give me your contact information", wouldn't people look at you and think you're insane? Now why are you doing it online?

    There should always be a way to identify the person behind the account. Even a business account should have a glimpse of who's behind it. Example, our SteamFeed twitter account has in our Bio that tweets are by @danielghebert and @djthistle – it's a simple way to humanize the brand.

    It's a lot easier to be social when you know it's not a robot behind the account.

  7. BrandEdu says:

    Great example Daniel.

  8. Robert Tyson says:

    Couldn't agree with you more David. I think part of the reason people do this is that they've been conditioned over time to believe that corporate 'brands' are where it's at. But in reality people buy from people – always have and always will.

  9. BrandEdu says:

    Thank you Robert, yes despite technology we still want to work and interact with human beings.

  10. Great post David, not much more can be said that you did not reveal…"IRL!" GoodJob!

  11. BrandEdu says:

    True Randy, many of the same principals hold true IRL and on-line. Thanks

  12. Ravi Shukle says:

    Great article David, fully agree you wouldn't open the door to someone who you don't recognise without them showing some proof or legitimacy. same principle applies for social.

  13. BrandEdu says:

    Good point Ravi, it's an introduction. Thanks for commenting.

  14. eandtsmom says:

    I totally agree, David. I always tell prospective clients that social marketing and social media is about being social. Having an egg as your profile pick is the online equivalent of being the wall flower at the 8th grade dance. If you're going to use social networks, you've got to dive in and interact. You can't wait along the sidelines, hoping someone finds you and brings you onto the dance floor. It's not any more likely to happen online than it was in 8th grade.

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