Friday, April 22, 2011

Social MEdia…Who Are You When Everyone’s Looking?

je ne sais quoi - noun
An intangible quality that makes something distinctive or attractive.
I was at a NASCAR Winston Cup Race in the early 90’s when someone said, “you have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’.” I had no idea what that meant, so like any Trophy Queen, I smiled, tilted my head, and politely said, ‘thanks’. Then, I found the smartest person around, that I wouldn’t feel dumb asking, and in the sweetest southern accent he said, “Jessica, that’s just a way of saying, you are unlike any other.”
Not bragging, in fact, it might not have even been a compliment… who knows now.

Ok…enough about me…let’s talk about you…umm what do you think of me? That’s a joke, but if you spend enough time online you will discover, there’s a lot of that going on.
A whole lot of: Social MEdia. Not pontificating or getting up on a soapbox, I do my fair share of showboating.  We all serve and participate in different communities, industries and schools of thought. There is enough room for everyone. Last week, I was brought into a conversation comparing my usage of various Social Media platforms to communicate, with another New Media Professional. Basically, someone said I was doing it right, and insinuated that this other person was doing it wrong.
I don’t need to reinvent the wheel because Chris Brogan already wroteYou’re Doing It Wrong, meaning we’re all doing it our way and it is as obvious online, as it is in real life that you “can’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides.” It just doesn’t work. SO if your goals aren’t the same as my goals, than I am probably doing Social Media wrong, to youright?
What attracts you towards one object, person, place or thing versus another?
It doesn’t have to be over-the-top…subtlety is just as alluring to some, as audaciousness is to others. Recently, I was helping a family member with their digital marketing strategy, when we got to design and aesthetic setup, I thought a couple colors that matched their logo would be perfect…keep it simple, however they wanted the whole crayon box! I get that, I mean, really get it, and at the end of the day, you have to live with your choices. My website is way over the top for some, but it is just right for me, and a pretty good representation of who I am.
If I try to sell myself with monotone colors, half empty, plain black and white pages, when you meet or talk with me, I might be a tough pill to swallow.  Point is…I am not trying to be anything I am not, and thus far it has got me where I want to be. Will it always be this way? Can’t really say, I am evolving, bringing other people into the mix and more than likely, I will grow the brand to encompass all personalities involved.
There are many statistics and case studies that reveal consumer habits. That’s one way to create your online brand.  I built a brand around me: A two-stepping, Country-Rocking, X-Beauty Queen who loves God, her dog Sissy, great conversations, and the color pink! The good news is, there are a lot of people in this world who like different things, and millions of ways to express this.  Just like your personality, yourSocialality (online Personality) should reflect you or your brands unique attributes including behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental that give you character.
Some days I would love to be an anonymous, wall-flower who sits in the back of the room.
But, just like the old Scorpion/Frog* anecdote, we are what we are, denying your true nature would be giving up all the cool stuff that comes with it.  I accept myself as I am…flaws and all. When we deny our nature and pretend to be something else, we often offend or even hurt the people around us, if even just by proximity. Not giving them the choice to know who and what we really are, is pretending to be something we aren’t.
Yes, I desire to be a better person, but the consequence of me denying what makes me, ME, might really be, bait and switch or false advertising to you.

I leave you with this: is if your efforts are working for you, no matter what others say, keep doing what your doing. Be true to you!
What are things that stand out to you online, in life, in others, in yourself? Good or bad?
*The story/fable about the scorpion and frog starts when a scorpion asks a frog to carry him across a river.  The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that if it stung, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well. The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion explains, “I’m a scorpion; it’s my nature.”

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