What’s Your Social Persona?

Who you are offline is who you are online when it comes to social interactions. Ralf VonSosen, head of marketing and sales solutions at LinkedIn, made that assertion when we spoke at CRMevolution. In other words, he said, if you’re a good conversationalist, someone who asks questions and listens and is genuinely interested in others, that behavior will translate to your online social interactions. But if you’re “that person”—the one who hogs the conversation, talks without listening or asking questions, or needs to be “on stage”—that’s who you are online, as well.

This applies to individuals, as well as to the brands they often represent.

VonSosen said he based his opinion primarily on some users’ LinkedIn behaviors—mostly the behaviors of salespeople and marketers. And mostly on their bad behaviors. LinkedIn is meant to be about staying connected, about warm introductions, and about using its marketing tools and groups to make relevant connections. I’m not saying this to be an ad for the brand; it’s part of the point VonSosen was making. Some people, he implied, are just there to promote their ware and blasts their messages despite most users’ expected and preferred interaction types in that community.

Think about the LinkedIn groups you belong to. How many discussions are actually that, and how many are promotions for other members’ white paper or webcast. There’s a promotions tab for that.

It’s incumbent upon marketers (and salespeople) representing a brand to represent it—and themselves—well. To be more social and less promotional. To listen and respond, instead of just talk, talk, talk. (Full disclosure: With the exception of conference coverage, many of my own social posts are links to our content; but I’m taking my own advice and doing more to be interactive.)

So, what’s your brand’s social persona? How about your own? If they’re not who you really want them to be, now’s the time “rebrand.”

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