The world can see everything on social media. There are always posts that will come across your stream of some stupid thing that someone has caught on video, or some crazy snapshot meme that reminds us how we are not compliant with boundaries.
It seems that when it comes to showing the world how dumb we are, we have no hesitation to do so. However, when it comes to breaking down the wall and letting someone really know who we are, we tend to automatically become backwards and shy.
I want to talk to those of you that have a problem letting people in. You are hiding from yourself and therefore your success on social media and there’s no need for it. However, there’s a problem that is happening to you that you don’t quite understand and I want to uncover that situation so you can get about your business on social.
The Social Media “Problem”
There is a persona that is deemed “correct”. It’s called being socially correct, and this type of interaction and engagement is killing authenticity everywhere.
It’s in the comment streams, private chats, and the hangouts on Google Plus and it dominates other social media sites as well.
This gravitas of social correctness stems from worrying about what other people think. Therefore we create a persona and an attitude that gravitates toward the people that we want to impress or eventually become.
You’re not being “You”.
I have completed a small sample study polling 124 new bloggers that have been in the industry from 1-6 months. The newer bloggers (1-3mo) brought forth an excitement in writing and showed their newness. Which is perfectly ok.
The “older” bloggers (4-6mo) seemed to display a facade of experience and savvy that they never got in 4-6 months. Out of this group 82% showed these qualities while the rest remained the same. The people that were showing the change in attitude and a false sense of experience all admitted that social media played a big role in the way they conducted business.
These bloggers admitted to pretending to be someone that they weren’t for fear of embarrassment or rejection.
This shows me that somewhere a new social marketer sees a successful person online getting tons of traffic and engagement and they have a sense that this way is the way that is permitted to behave. Granted, people are responding to the person they are watching, so why wouldn’t they get the same response.
How can you expect people to fall in love with who you are and what you do if you aren’t yourself? There is a way that seems right, and that way is almost always wrong because you’re following your desire. While desire is great, it will lead you into precarious places that you may not be able to change or fix.
You have to set goals for yourself and keep the desire caged. Sure you can still keep it, know where it is at all times, just keep it under control. If it gets loose, sometimes desire can drive you off a cliff because it’s excited to get to where it’s going.
Social Media Is Full of Masks
People are pretending to be someone they’re not. They are announcing expertise and influence, giving it away to others behind them like its candy and its perverting the way true and honest business is done on social media.
The one way you can fix this is to stop being who you think they want you to be, and start being the person you know you are. One great example of this is my friend Ana Hoffman who has always been the exact same person when I first met her. She also knows the importance of being memorable and approaching influencers. Guess what? You can’t pretend you’re someone you’re not.
But what if who I am is an obnoxious jerk?
That’s ok too. Be an obnoxious jerk. Some people will love that sense of humor, but you have to understand how to approach new people with strong personalities like the one an obnoxious jerk has.
People will judge you. You already know that which is why you have subconsciously started to act like the person you want to be. I realize the whole phrase “dress for the job you want” is a powerful saying, however, honesty and truthfulness are two powerful ingredients too. People want to see you for who you really are.
Stop hiding the true YOU! Dare to be flawed and questioning. Dare to say “I don’t know the answer to that but I’ll find out”. When you start appearing human, you will start to understand what your future looks like in social media. T rust will gradually form from those around you.
Have you ever acted or portrayed like you were something you really wasn’t? I know I have. That was the way I thought I was supposed to act when I first started blogging. It wasn’t until I realized that I had to be me on social media before people would respond. I’d love to hear your story!
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