Exploring Your Social Media Persona
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
I’ve always enjoyed personality assessments. I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Indicator®, the StrengthsFinder 2.0, and Florence Littauer’s Personality Plus assessment. I’ve tried a number of tests that helped highlight my spiritual gifts. I’m sure there are more that I’ve used over the years but each one has helped me discover my strengths and come to grips with my shortcomings.
A talk I had this weekend about Facebook made me wonder if anyone had devised a test to assess our online personality. I came across the Social Media Personality Test and worked through the sixteen questions. It dubbed me an oversharer. Me? An oversharer? Really? Yes, I post pictures of food occasionally and I do talk about religion. (Well, faith, anyway.) But I’ve always considered myself very careful in my social media strategy. I looked at this test more closely and discovered that the only categories are:
- Social Media Missionary
- Social Media Circus Act
- Average Joe
- Social Media No-Show
Okay, none of those fit the persona I think I display online, nor do they describe most of the people I follow. Someone needs to develop a better assessment tool methinks.
But it got me thinking about the importance of evaluating and intentionally planning our online strategy. After all, we are professionals who use social media to connect in an effective way, right? We need to strike the perfect balance of professional and personal; transparent and cautious; humorous and serious; information rich without being information overloading; and wise without being a know-it-all. Easy, huh?
I guess I’d say that the social media personalities I’ve observed fall into some of the following categories:
- Too intense– crisis after crisis, depressing updates followed by deeply revealing navel gazing.
- Too bland– nothing personal. An abundance of links that offer little insight into the person behind the keyboard. Could be nothing more than a computer serving up content.
- Too political– no explanation needed. Puhlease. . . we all have political views and no amount of online haranguing will change a single mind.
- Too “religious.” Old fashion Bible thumping done electronically. No love. No connection. Just facts.
- Too enthralled with ecards, flare, reposts, games, cute pet pictures, etc.
- Too focused on passing along information– a little goes a long way.
- Too promotional– how many times can you subject your followers to the cover of your book without looking like an overbearing salesman?
I could go on and on but I guess it’s obvious that the common denominator is the word “too.” Balance is what is needed. But how do we evaluate that balance?
I think we all need trusted friends who love us enough to tell us when we fall into the “too” category. Remember that conversation I said I had this weekend that led me to evaluating my online persona? It was my brother who gently called me on my Facebook posts. He observed that I post way too much about being busy.
“It makes you seem inaccessible. If I were one of your clients I’d feel terrible ‘bugging’ you,” he said. “I know that’s not how you are, but if someone didn’t know you. . .”
Hmmm. I’d never thought about it. I like being busy. I like sharing all the crazy activity in my life, but I never meant for it to keep people away! If I were ever to get too busy for my clients or for my friends, something would need fixing. My brother was right. My postings were not representative of who I am.
Your turn: How about you? How important is your social media strategy? What are the online types that make you crazy? Does it strike you as too cold-blooded to devise a social media strategy? If you took the Social Media Personality Test would you care to share your result? How does one decide how much promotion is too much promotion? Do you have a trusted friend or accountability partner who will give you feedback? Let’s talk. . .
What’s your social media personality? Click to Tweet
Are you an oversharer online? Too intense? Too bland? Let’s talk. Click to Tweet