A few days ago, a friend of mine on Twitter sent me a message. They were seething with anger. The cause? They had just watched this:
To them, it felt like Scott Stratten was kind of taking a hit at Work at home moms. I didn’t really see it that way, but it did make me realize, once again, how easy it is to forget that no matter how connected we feel on Social Media sites, we really are only in 2 dimensions until people meet us in person. We are our picture. We are our profile description. As such, it’s important to take a look at your Social Media existence now and then and view it from the perspective of someone who might not know you from Adam. Here are some things to consider.
Your avatar: I have debated back and forth about the last couple of avatars I’ve used. They are not your typical button-down, pin stripe kind of shot that a lot of marketing pros use in the Social Media space. I’ve wondered if I should go a more professional route. On the other hand, a lot of my Social Media engagement, while revolving around my profession, is about connecting with individuals. Do I want to look like a marketing cliche? Take a look at your avatar. If you are looking generally well-dressed, well-cleansed, and you don’t have too much food hanging out of your mouth, you’re probably good to go. But what kind of image are you sending out there? How would you perceive of yourself?
The first words in your profile: I have conscientiously put my role with our family’s advertising agency front and center. I do not believe that my job defines me (although time wise sometimes it seems to!) but it is why I am here doing these things (in large part). Where do you start in your profile? Do you define yourself as a parent first? Do you define yourself by your religious beliefs first? There is nothing wrong with making those things the most important in your life. However, are those the reasons that you are using Social Media? If you want someone to do business with you, will they engage in that kind of relationship because you are a Buddhist father with 2 cockatiels? Maybe. Maybe not.
These are important things to consider as you move forward with your presence in Social Media. What are you going after? What are you hoping to achieve? Does everything you say get you closer to those goals? If not – you might want to think again about tweaking some of what you have out there.
A quick note about the video
I think that this little interview points to a major underlying issue in our society at large. I think, right now, men who work from home and participate a great deal in the raising of the children are viewed as over the top amazing men. And many times, this is true. On the other hand, if a woman works from home and participates in raising the children, she is a “work at home mom.”
I think women are and have been under phenomenal pressure to define themselves “the right way.” In the business world, women can’t seem to be too attached to their children or, “Gee golly, how will you juggle those priorities?” At home, if a woman seems really dedicated to her work, people may whisper how she can possibly be taking care of the kids.
I think it’s great that we are starting to break out of the very conventional ways our society has been divided up, but I think women are feeling the transition in a very different way from men. If a woman defines herself as a work at home mom, to me, that is her answer for exactly how she does do the superior task of juggling her work and her family. It should not raise questions about her dedication to either sphere. Then again, I am not everyone in the world who would see that.
Naturally, it would be great to say that it doesn’t really matter how other people see you, it just matters how you see yourself. If you are not using Social Media for business reasons, that works just fine. However, if you want people to build a business relationship with you based solely on what they see of you via Social Media, their opinion counts. Their opinion counts a great deal.
Image by Lars Sundstrom. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/sundstrom