Social media is all about being authentic, being real, being “free to be me”.
But can you be “yourself” and be a brand?
Aside from the people who publish personal diary type posts, most people have a digital brand; a personality that is constructed from the sum of all of their online publishing.
As soon as you publish you become a persona.
As someone who shares a bit of my life each time I hit a key, I’m always aware of what I am putting out there. I know without thinking about it that every tweet, every Facebook update, every blog post that I publish is a little piece of me that is being made public. (Note to Weiner.)
Because I’m aware of this, I’m conscious of what personal information I share.
I have clear rules. I don’t tag photos of family members. I don’t “friend” promiscuously. I don’t share intimate details of my private relationships.
Does this make me less authentic?
I don’t think so.
What I do share is reflective of who I am. When it comes to friends and family, it’s not my place to make their lives public.
I have to admit though, that I often wonder whether the stuff that I do put out there will impact negatively on my “professional” brand.
Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist with management roots in restaurant, hotel and performing arts.
A strong proponent for the power of collaborative communication and "humanized" digital networking, Ray writes about social media, social business and Google Plus.
His clients include hotels, restaurants, consulting firms, entrepreneurs, writers and individuals just trying to make sense of "social".
Ray is a popular speaker on Social Media, Social Business and Google+.