I’d like to try a little social media experiment. I’d like anyone reading this to tell me one thing about me, Ben Anderson, the author and owner of cnctNOW, that you think might be personal information. Please leave those responses in the comments below. If you are one of my close friends and happen to know something embarrassing or otherwise potentially damaging to my reputation please share something other than that…or just be kind.
I’m trying this little experiment because I’d like to make a point. When I participate on social media I am nearly always the person you will meet in person. I rarely, if ever, put on a persona that is different than what you’d experience in person. This is the personality of my business. I speak in much the same way that I write. I mostly talk about things with my closest real-life (as opposed to virtual/online) friends that you’re likely to find on my business Facebook page, or personal profiles. If you follow me on Twitter you’d know what TV shows I watch faithfully, you’d know that I visit Target entirely too frequently. You might know my favorite cut of meat, or which restaurant I enjoy the most. My personal and business life has a very very thin line of distinction.
This is something that I try and teach my clients. I try and teach them that being yourself is of paramount importance. I teach them that their business is an extension of their values, personality, and aspirations. I teach them that many of the people that care most about their business care just as much about them as a person. I encourage my clients to expose a little bit of humanity in every post they make on social media. This is just part of what I have dubbed the "Cheers social media philosophy" or the philosophy of business where everyone knows your name. For many clients this comes naturally, for others this is a dramatic change that may not be possible for them on a personal level. So that leaves me with one form of advise…create a personality or culture that is "human friendly" or just friendly.
This year I will be working with select clients and teaching my methods, my philosophy, and hopefully changing the social landscape for several businesses. I encourage everyone who reads this to think about the businesses they interact with and which ones are their favorite. Then I want you to ask yourself why they are your favorite. Was it price? Was it selection? Was it service? Or was it something a little less tangible?
Again, I’d like to ask you to place a little tid-bit you might know about me, personally, that you might expect a friend to know about me in the comments section below. Then, if you’re a business owner or manager I’d like you to post a similar test on your own blog and share that link here. Remember, be yourself on social media and it’ll work for you.