Social Media @ Work: The Personal Brand

Employers don’t know what to do with social media at work.  You want your employee’s to leverage their networks, but you don’t want them to waste your money by playing Farmville all day.  You have to treat your employees like adults, and that might be too much for most employers.

Worst of all, most people don’t understand how social media interacts with work.  Yeah, it as fun to tweet how hot that boy at the club is Saturday at 1 am, but try explaining that to a client who sees it Sunday morning.  Or maybe they’ll notice all those strange, “artistic” photos you keep posting to Flickr of decapitated Barbie dolls.  Probably though, your current or future employer will find ancient photos of you from college that are completely inaccurate to who you are today.

You can’t control everything about yourself on the internet, and you can’t control how anyone uses the internet.  All you can do is suggest certain ways to use the tools online and suggest a better picture of who you are.  If you don’t think these suggestions are powerful, think again.

People notice what is front of them.  That’s why it’s important to be on the first page of Google.  People don’t pay attention after that first page.  If you work hard on creating a singular vision of yourself, you’ll find most people will only pay attention to that aspect. Because the internet is forever, you’ll have to address the dark crappy corners head on when necessary, but those instances will slowly become fewer and far more in between.

This singular vision is your personal brand.  It is your hyper-stylized, ultra-polished version of yourself people want to be near and be friends with.  It’s you bumped up a notch, the way you wish you could be.  It’s the way you want people to notice you, not the photos of you from high school you can’t escape.  If I can become the Anti-Social Media guy in three months, you can become whatever you want to in the same time.

Who will you be in three months?  What will your brand be?

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