Monday, 30 January 2012

Self promotion or narcissism? Where's the line?

Let's start with self evident statement:
However chatty and interactive your social media presence may be, you're still promoting yourself and your  business.

If people are following you because they're interested in you and your business this shouldn't be a problem. Balance is essential in social media and a good mix of social interaction, interesting information and an occasional direct business post is sometimes tricky to achieve, but it's well worth the effort.

There is a model of self promotion on social media that I don't advocate. (Hence the title of this post) This is the overly insecure need to repost every mention  - even auto generated mentions from sites such as YouTube, Klout or Paper.Li.

If someone has said something truly exceptional about you then by all means repost it. (I'd suggest this is done in moderation and coupled with a thank you for the testimonial.) If it's something as generic as an auto-generated follow Friday on Twitter, ask yourself what value retweeting that will have to your followers.

So, how do you make capital out of your mentions on social media? Here's an example

If you get 7 notifications that someone has liked your YouTube video how about saying "good to see our video getting some likes" and link to it again. You've accomplished the self promotion aspect and directed people to your information without clogging up their feeds with 7 anodyne reposts.

Take a look at your last 50 tweets. (Some people will be back as far as yesterday, other will be back 6 weeks or more!) What does the balance of your Twitter output look like? Is there a good mix of content? Too much coffee and cats? (Guilty as charged!) Too much retweeting? Or, are you not talking to people enough?

Now look at your LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Do your posts encourage interaction, or are they "for information".

If you have a social media stream full of reposts about you then you're tending towards narcissism and it's time to change. It's all about adding value to the people that interact with you on social media. Quality - not quantity - is the key.