Warning: This Social Media Includes Me

“Who are you?”

-Roger Daughtry

When it comes to social media, there are two fundamental things that must be known:

  1. We must know who you are; and,
  2. YOU must know who you are.

Whereas the first one in the list is very important (SEO, content marketing and all that jazz), I’d like to focus on the second item for this post.

Socrates Ain’t Just What You Wear At The World Cup

“Know Thyself” is attributed to Socrates from centuries ago.  How could he know it would hold so much weight in social media?

It’s a pretty basic principle: if you don’t know who you are and what you represent, how the hell are we supposed to figure it out?  Some people call it an elevator pitch, others call it a statement of purpose, but whatever you call it, here’s a good exercise for you.  Take the next 30 seconds and answer Roger Daughtry’s initial question: Who are you?

And……….begin. [30 seconds of dead air]

Okay, stop.  Was it difficult to spontaneously define yourself in 30 seconds?  Most people think so.  There’s a great post here from LDS Employment Services with tips and suggestion for what to include in your “Me in 30 Seconds” statement.

You Like Me, You Really Like Me

Another great tactic to answering the “Who am I” quandary is to simply ask someone close to you that you trust to give you an honest answer.  Many times perception is reality (I should know, I write about perceptual lenses all day) so you can get really good insights into how people see you by simply asking.

Social Media Identity Crisis

Online self-awareness is so important that I cannot think of a single “successful” blog where the author waivers on the issue.  Do you think Chris Brogan or David Meerman Scott or Jay Baer ever wonder who they are going to be in their blog posts?  What about Perez Hilton or Adrianna Huffington?  Think again, Mistoffelees.

Copyblogger has a great post about finding your ideal writing voice here.  Read it and take notes, but all the steps boil down to “be yourself.”

Do I Know You?

The reason it is imperative that you fully understand who you are as you write is so you can form emotional connections with us, your audience.  If you know yourself and convey that through your writing, people will learn your story and connect with you.

It’s not magic, it’s how all relationships are created and maintained.  We are reading your work, we want to know you.  Give us what we want.  But first you have to know what that is and be honest with us about it.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think it is so hard for people to say who they are when asked outright?
  2. Do you think it would add value to your LinkedIn profile if your summary section was your personal elevator pitch?  Why isn’t it?
  3. When people ask, “Why should I hire you for this job?” what do you say?

What do you think?


About Joey Strawn

Digital marketing sociologist and public relations specialist with experience on national and local campaigns with a love for film and the things it says about our culture and business. Joey is the Senior Social Media Strategist at ISM in Nashville, TN and is in the business of helping people and companies deal with the new universe of social media in their marketing and PR endeavors.
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7 Responses to Warning: This Social Media Includes Me

  1. Sally G. says:

    I read a fantastic exercise for Defining Yourself in Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. At the time, I was trying to get very clear on Who I Was Going To Be As A Mother.

    I pictured myself at my own funeral ~ and I wrote the eulogy I’d love both of my daughters to share. I included all the qualities they were grateful to have developed and respected as they’d seen modelled by me. I included the love they felt while in my presence – and more. I then took that eulogy speech ~ and identified the goals and priorities it contained ~ and in so doing, defined Who I Was Going To Be As A Mother.

    I use the lesson in this exercise whenever I feel confused as to how to Be or Respond in any given situation. How do I desire to be remembered? How do I desire to allow others to feel? What do I have to offer to improve, enrich, enhance this situation or encounter in any way? That is who I am.

    This is a fantastic post Joey. Too many people allow others to define who they are ~ denying them the stable foundation that it is their right to stand upon. Be Yourself. Great advice!

  2. savy2681 says:

    Wow, the reality here seems to be that when we are asked to define who we are or what we bring to the table, that we can never really do it without sounding like a boiler plate. I find this true due to the multitude of job interviews I have gone through recently, I am going to take some time over the next few weeks to figure this out. Thanks for the great article, references and strong push.

    • Joey Strawn says:

      You’re very welcome and thanks for you comment. This was a BIG issue for me when I was starting out, trying to find my voice and who I was online. What I ended up finding out was that I was the same person I was “offline”. It just took some practice getting it down into words.

  3. lunasealife says:

    Enjoying the blog! Thanks for the tips.

  4. Genesis says:

    I like it when individuals get together and share
    thoughts. Great site, stick with it!

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