Building your online brand, while being yourself?

Last week, I attended a free networking/lecture event put on by pdxMindShare, focused on “Building your personal brand through social media.”

This event, featuring the wicked smart Kent Lewis (and his dry sense of humor), was largely intended for use in professional settings, as a career-focused workshop. The intent was to learn to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and more to build an online presence, including boosting your own visibility and credibility.

After sharing some great insights on what platforms to use for what purposes, etc, I was able to pose the question:

How much of yourself do you share through social media, and where do you draw the line between personal and public profiles, let alone personal and professional?

This is a question I return to pretty regularly with regards to my own social media usage. As a marketer, I’m aware of the power of building a professional brand online. On the other hand, I’m a real person with friends and family I like to connect with, interests outside of work, and a sometimes quirky sense of humor. The example I used at the event was that, though I’m a marketer and want to show off my industry acumen, I’m a multidimensional person whose top blog post to this day is “DIY Hipster Tank Top“… and I like it that way.

There are a lot of articles out there about protecting your private life from exposure via social media, but what does this mean for a digital native who wants to share everything, from what they ate for dinner to their weird obsession with polka dot pants?

I’m not sure! And there is probably a different solution for every individual, industry, and preference out there.

I’ll leave this with an interesting comment I first read on Reddit’s “Shower Thoughts” subreddit:

“The future President of the United States probably has a Facebook account right now. And there will probably be some embarrassing photos on there.”


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