They say “you have to be personal on social media”. So we get people talking about the most narcissistic stuff. There’s personal and then there’s over sharing and many people are definitely over sharing.
The problem is, a lot of the people who use social media are entrepreneurs and business owners. What that really means is, we have no life apart from business. Or does it. Maybe what it really means is that business is an integral part of our real life so personalizing it is really easy, once you realize what ‘personalize’ means in this context.
There are a lot of levels of ‘personal’. Lets go with beach-personal and water cooler-personal.
At the beach, you’re really letting it all hang out. Fish belly white skin. Grey hair. Saddlebags. Beer guzzling, really bad volley ball, whatever it is you as a person are and like to do, its all out there. And the beach is an appropriate place for most of that.
At the water cooler, that’s still in your office, but its become axiomatic for a place for relaxing a little. Talk about what’s new in sports or your favorite TV show. (I’m so ready for Big Bang Theory to start the new season!) We had a great weekend up in Estes Park. Things you could tell your boss (assuming you aren’t embarrassed by your choice of television viewing) or your grandmother with equal confidence. But here there are definite limits. When asked what’s up for your weekend you might say “My mother in law is coming to visit” and roll your eyes, and that’s just the right side of appropriate. You’ll get some commiseratory groans and eye rolls and then the conversation will move to the next person in line. It is definitely NOT the time to explain, in detail, about the time when your mother in law did some horrible thing. That would be crossing over into the wrong side of the line. Definitely.
Personalizing social media is like that. Had a business lunch somewhere? Well, was the service excellent? Or Terrible? Did you learn something new about the restaurant, or owners, or menu? “I had lunch with Pamela today. Did you know Jason’s Deli serves items on gluten free bread?” Its personal, because we have a friendly relationship, and its about sharing with others. “Went to the Women in Business Breakfast today. Did you know (insert interesting fact you learned.)”
Share your perspective, your insight, in short *you*, the inside of your head, what makes you unique or interesting. If it happens in a business environment, that’s ok, that’s part of you too.