Facts and Myths about developing a Social Media Identity
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Posted by: The Digital Marketing Association | 06/27/2012 14:02
Social Media is part of our lives, whether we accept to be part of it or not. It is changing the way we communicate, buy and sell, the way we link up, apply for a new job and promote our skills and talents.

“We’re living at a time when attention is the new currency. Those who insert themselves into as many channels as possible look set to capture the most value.”
- Pete Cashmore, Founder of mashable.com


People will search for you online

Many people interested in finding out more about someone will search for their online profiles to verify their experience and expertise. Your personal online identity will determine their initial opinion of you as a professional.

The impression you make online matters

A powerful online presence indicates someone who is influential and whose opinion matters to others. A leader. People tend to follow leaders. They trust their opinion and advice.

Your customers and clients are online

Millions of people are using social media platforms all over the world. Every industry and almost every age group. People are not using the social media platforms just to tweet what they had for breakfast. People are engaging with their favourite brands, engaging in social media campaigns, and recommending or condemning.

People will not just start following you

It is naive to believe that you can join social media platforms and suddenly hundreds of people will follow or like what you say. If you have no presence online, than you will have to build one up.

Not everyone is an influencer

This is true for everything we do. Some people are leaders and some are followers. Some people have the power to influence others to drive a whole industry forward and change the way we do things and others are part of the powerful network. However it is important to note that everyone has a certain amount of influence on those who follow him or her. If you are not someone who is comfortable blasting out ideas then it is great to just listen and spread the news or comment on things you find interesting.


People in my industry don’t use social media

From builders to teachers, pilots to Olympic gymnasts, football players and train drivers. According to Gary P Hayes meter of live stats 700,000 items were shared on Facebook and over 2 million videos were watched on YouTube in 60 seconds. http://www.sjbrooks-young.com/id221.html

1.2 billion users around the world (82% of the world’s online population are determined to be found on social networking sites) spending 6.7 billion hours on the social media platforms. Is it possible that some of them are in your industry? (Source: comScore)

I don’t understand it so there must be many others who also don’t get it

This is a very ‘ostrich with head in the sand’ opinion. Yes there are many who don’t, but millions who do or try and learn how. Many tutorial videos exist, seminars and conferences that can help you learn how to set up a great online identity making an impact on your industry and profession.

No one knows who I am online/ No one will search for me

People know who you are in offline, and if you are someone who is interested in professional development and career progression, then people are likely to be searching for your online footprint. An online presence that shows interest in your profession, knowledge of emerging trends and interactivity with key industry players will make a positive impression.

It is all a passing fad/ It is not for my generation

This is what they said about the television too and many other exciting technological developments that took the world by storm. Social media is not dying out; in fact it is growing rapidly. New Social Networking platforms attract millions of fans. People have found a new way to communicate and it is not determined by age or lifestyle. The largest age group of Facebook users is 26 – 35 year olds http://www.allfacebookstats.com/

I have to tweet about my every move

No, you don’t. This was a trend when Twitter first began and like everything new, people were eager to communicate with friends and family. Although some people do still tweet on what they had for breakfast (which is perfectly fine) many others tweet about their views on what is happening in the news, helpful tips and hints about how to use the online media, links to interesting blog posts and what they think is significant for their industry and would be of interest to their followers.

Use Social Media wisely and it will work for you. The principles are simple and repeated  over and over by the influencers on the web. Provide relevant content that matters to your audience, engage with them and interact and be informed!