Social media has offered the opportunity for every individual to create their own brand in a much larger world. Rather than having a community identity, we have the opportunity to have a global one. I have read about, talked about, and seen the importance of branding. Creating a brand is something I have done myself, I had worked on creating for my school, and I continue to do so through my various social media platforms. Branding has its benefits in both the school community and in the larger world, but what is the cost of our branding?
At this point, each of us who actively participate in Social media networks are taking part in creating our brand. We do so wittingly or not. Everything we say, post, like, or share says a little about how we are and what we value. Our brand is carved in the echoes of messages, 140 characters at a time. What we present to the world is how we are judged. It is important to be conscious of this fact. It is important not only to understand it but to leverage it when we can. The more conscious we are, however, of our facade, the more likely we are to start disengaging from what made social media a meaningful outlet for many of us, personal connections. At the end of the day, social media was built with the premise of creating social experiences for a wider world. As more people grow ever conscious of their branding through the use of social media, I am starting to see less personal connections being made. Many people would rather protect their image, protect their brand than have a meaningful discussion.
I know my social media is seen. I know it reflects on who people think I am. That is why I maintain a constant. In using social media, I am myself. Each post, tweet, or share represents a little piece of who I really am. If you were to meet me in person, those posts are similar to the person you get. I am happy to share, open to discussing, frequently ask questions, make mistakes, have a love/hate relationship with auto-correct, make jokes, do lots of different things, and love to help other people. I can be very silly, but always eager to tackle serious conversations. I am curious and tend to ask questions. If you read through my feeds, this is what you will hopefully see. I don’t tend to worry much about my social media brand, because I am myself. Yes, I am mindful of what I put out into the world, but I am also honest. You will not see a false mask, but the whole human being. While many people will gloss over themselves to present the perfect image, I honestly feel that does all of us a disservice. Greatness doesn’t come from being a perfect brand, it comes from being much more.
As the concept of branding continues to spread, and rightly so, keep in mind your purpose. My purpose is to develop great personal connections to people around the world. I seek an opportunity to learn from them, to find mentors, to be a mentor, and ultimately be more. You can do social media, do branding and still be something so much more than a brand. You can be yourself.