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Dilemma: to Be Social or not to Be Social

Sometimes I get questions about Privacy when it comes to Social Media.

Privacy VS Celebrity” is something I already talked about in a public speech and I guess it’s an important topic to discuss. I’d like to share my opinion on that.

If you did something in your life, whether it was an online or an offline activity, you are indexed. Whether you climbed a mountain or got framed on a picture taken from someone else, or you’ve been a winner during a hiking competition when you were a kid, etcetera. Well, you are indexed.

So it’s not primarily about IT, it’s about your life. Maybe you are “lucky enough” that you have never ever been mentioned by anyone, anything in any place in your whole life. But this is very rare.

The truth is that each and everyone of us are online already. Try “Google yourself on Bing” (or viceversa :)) and you’ll see the results. (who didn’t?? :)).

So now the question is: as my name is online, why not to be fully online? Why not positively change the perception the others have on me? Why not starting to create your Personal Brand through your actions, your content, and your experience on a specific topic?

Privacy is a luxury nowadays. There’s a popular quote from Andy Warhol, dated 1968, that says “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes”. This can be easily adapted to the social media environment in which we live. Everyone is on Facebook, everyone is in search for acceptance, most of the People will get their own celebrity status, even for a few minutes.

Privacy is a luxury but we can use some tips in order to limit it.

On Facebook, for example, there are people that never post pictures of their family members (children, spouses, their homes, etc.). They engage, talk, share, but never on their personal lives.

– You need to pay attention to your privacy settings on Facebook: if you want to limit your profile and wall visibility, you may want to set it to be seen only be your friends (or friends of friends).

– If you share pictures through your Smartphone, be sure they don’t contain GPS metadata (location) on them. I’m sure now in every Smartphone you can enable/disable this feature, at least Windows Phone does it.

– Also, remember that, if you set your profile to be seen only by Friends only recently, remember that, especially if you signed up years ago, to do a bulk selection of all the past posts to increase your privacy.

Post visibility

 

I fully endorse what Erik Qualman, author of “Socialnomics”, said about it:

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do Social Media, the question is how well we do it”

Make a good use of Social Media

A lot has been said about Social Media, Web 2.0 and all the other keywords you can think of. A lot of people, as we said, are in there, participating. And a lot of people are talking about it. But still, there’s a lot more to say about it. There is a huge potential for us in the IT Industry (and not only) to strengthen our presence in the social media environment.

Why I need to care about that? Well, first of all because everyone is in there (remember that statement “Everyone is on Facebook”?). So it’s like being in the middle of a professional and personal gathering and hiding yourself. Or, it’s like being there, chit chatting and that’s it.

Is that a good use of your time? Are you getting the most out of that “social gathering” or are you just participating?

Participating is the first step to gain credibility. But it’s the first one. What drives you, your credibility and, in the end, your reputation, is your Content, the Content you provide.

Remember that Magazine Cover, 2007?

You

It’s all about People and, most of all, it’s all about the content your provide.

Sharing is something I learnt from the Microsoft MVPs: it’s the basics to become an MVP. Of course it’s not enough but it’s the Passion inside yourself that makes you share content because you want to, because you know you’ll get something back (feedback, comments, reputation, etc), because you know you’ll learn as long as you actively participate.

Now, imagine millions and millions of people talking, sharing, commenting, liking, tweeting, posting etcetera.

crowd

Are you following the right content in order to learn, to increase your knowledge? Are you tagging the content properly? Ask yourself these basic questions, check the tools you are using to “index” somehow this huge flow of information. This is the first step to make a good use of Social Media. But there’s more..

I want to go social

When I travel for business I have the opportunity to meet a lot of people. And several times I hear this “request” from them, something they’re willing to do but they don’t know where to start.

I have good news for you: you’re already part of it ! We are social beings, live in a social World and evidently we need to be social. Adapting to environments during the course of the various eras was inevitably for us human creatures. And part of this “adaptation” included the fact that we had to interact with other creatures of the same seed. We had to, in order to exchange goods, support each other, build something together, etcetera.

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So now what changed? Internet changed the lives of all of us. We started timidly but we are stronger now :) What is that supposed to mean? In the past we were simply surfing the web, plain and simple. In fact, we used “browsers” to browse the Internet pages. Now we are all part of an ecosystem and, believe it or not, we make decisions and say something that affects several other people (I delivered a session few days ago about it and you can grab the slides from my latest post).

So, back to the question: You want to go social? You’re already social, the question you need to ask yourself is: What’s my Brand reputation in this Social environment?

Categories: Branding, Social Media