Social media: Your internet tattoo
Publishing your thoughts online is like getting a tattoo. You know you ought to give thought to design, artwork and the best place to ink your idea, but all too often social media is a rushed decision.
But these long-term, hasty decisions can be disastrous.
In the world of social media and self-publishing, everything you’ve ever said or written online is stored in Google’s cache, on a social media site or in a web archive. Every single word.
That prospect can be quite daunting for some businesses, but with a few simple strategies you’ll never regret your internet tattoo.
Be clear about your goals
At the tender age of 16 I learned the hard way why a personal blog is not the place to share intimate details of your break up with your girlfriend or reveal what you really think about your teachers.
It’s naive to think that kind of content won’t be read, found or used by people you never intended it for.
"Positioning yourself as an expert in your field is all about engaging with your industry, contributing to the conversation and sometimes making bold comments or predictions."
It’s the same in business; don’t share the break up story. Instead, share the party line and stick to the party line.
What’s your motivation for communicating online? Once you’re clear about that, you’ll be able to formulate a concise social media strategy to drive every Facebook update, every comment, every tweet and every blog post.
You get to decide where your tattoo is positioned
For a few years I steered away from posting comments on articles, contributing to forums, or having any great involvement in online communities. I didn’t want to risk my reputation by saying something out of line or putting myself in a position where I might lose face.
Positioning yourself as an expert in your field is all about engaging with your industry, contributing to the conversation and sometimes making bold comments or predictions.
Leaders lead with their views and knowledge. Everyone is wrong at some point, but people will respect you for the way you handle yourself, both in moments of success and moments of failure.
Want more articles like this? Check out the social media section.
Contribute your best content
Many of us have been guilty of blog posts that lack substance, Facebook updates about our horrible day and website content that is garbage.
That is not the mark you want to leave on the internet! Start thinking of your website, blog, Twitter account and Facebook page as your own small media organisation, and only publish content worth contributing.
Don’t be afraid – this won’t hurt a bit
All those factors considered, I encourage you to take the leap – if you haven’t already.
Start a website with a blog, open that Facebook business page and make your solo-enterprise a leading publisher, commenter and contributor to the community. It’s a great way to market your business and network online with people that can help you or become your customers.
Flying Solo is a great place to start and from my experience is a very helpful and beneficial experience.
I’ll leave you with a quote from tattoo historian Vince Hemingson “A great tattoo is a statement, not a style. And getting it is a journey, not a destination.”
Are you getting ink done? Tell us about your experiences with social media.