The following guest article is by Maranda Gibson.
A couple of weeks ago, I was in stop and go traffic on a busy street. At a red light I could hear a horn blaring behind me and after glancing in the rearview mirror, I realized it was the guy behind me. I couldn’t hear a word he was saying but the combination of the horn, his mouth moving quickly, and the interesting gestures he was throwing up, I imagined he was upset about the pace of traffic. I ignored it – really, what was I going to do? I couldn’t drive over the top of the five cars in front of me. The light turned green, I put on my signal to make a turn up ahead, and this angry man flew around me. He slammed on his horn a few times and I saw the one fingered salute he gave me. I was shocked – and when he floored it in the other lane, I saw the white markings on the back of his window.
Steve’s Law Firm.
And it had a phone number. I considered calling the number and leaving him a voicemail that his angry gestures and horn honks wouldn’t quite get across. Instead, I didn’t – instead, I just laughed to myself and realized that if he acts like this while he drives, he’ll be out of business soon enough.
Because he forgot in the hustle and bustle of getting to his next meeting that he was driving around in his marketing machine.
One thing I think we forget is that we carry our brand around with us everywhere we go, whether we realize it or not. It’s easy to think that once we walk out of the office, we aren’t attached to our business anymore.
For the social media marketer this is never true. In some way, shape, or form our name is connected to our business whether we are at the office or not. When I first started Tweeting for AccuConference, running a Google search on my name would pull up MySpace, my personal Facebook, and even this ancient article where I was quoted in my college paper.
Three years later and when you Google my name, it’s all business. There’s my picture, my LinkedIn profile, and my company blog. Imagine if I wandered around the Internet acting like a jerk under my name. A simple search would connect me to my company and render my company a jerk as well. Here are some things you can do to at least help ease yourself back and forth.
- Privatize your personal Twitter / Facebook account.
- For public accounts – never say anything you wouldn’t want your mom to read.
- Keep private jokes private. We all have them, but it you want to make a friend chuckle, send it DM or private message.
- Run at least one search a month on your name to see what your results are. If things look positive, you’re doing a great job, if not, you may want to see what you’re doing wrong.
- Finally – don’t be a troll. It is easy to hide behind your shield online, but with your name out there, things are bound to somehow loop back around to you and your company. If you have an opinion, that’s great, but share it in a responsible and mature way.
I tend to be very careful what I say or do because I never know if a client might run a search to find out more about me or my company. Being a social media marketer means that my name and company is always on the windshield and I always have to remember that – do you?
Maranda Gibson lives in Arlington, Texas and began blogging for AccuConference three years ago. Maranda writes about public speaking and making great presentations and you can check out her tips on the AccuConference blog. She can also be spotted on Twitter sharing her musical tastes and expressing her love for baseball and cooking.
Photo by Johan Larsson