Personal Branding:Your Digital Impression

by Emily Khazak, Client Services Representative and Rishika Jha, Account Executive/Business Wire Toronto

Social Media Pros Dish Out Tips and Tricks to Amplify your Online Presence

It is incredible how quickly social media has impacted and, to a great extent, even altered our day-to-day interactions and continues to do so. We have automatically come to exist as two entities: the real and the virtual. The question then becomes, “What is the best way to preserve one’s individuality and be able to reflect it via their online persona?”

An engaging panel of social media experts; including Dave Fleet, Senior Vice President, Digital at Edelman Canada, Terry Fallis, Vice Chair at Thornley Fallis Communications and Mark Evans, Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategist at MediaProfile; addressed the issue head on, at a recent PR Agency Boot Camp session on social media.

“Your reputation through social media is a sum of perceptions,” said Boyd Neil, Senior Vice President at Hill & Knowlton Canada and panel moderator. “Your brand is the way you present yourself to the world.”

Revealing his “modus operandi” within the online environment, Evans spoke about keeping his social media presence pragmatic. “I veer away from the personal,” said Evans. “Mixing personal and professional is great, but there are definitely boundaries that should be maintained. You have to have a personal filter.”

Fallis, on the other hand, strongly believes that social media is transparent. “Rather than developing a personal brand, it’s more like revealing your personal brand,” he explained. “It’s someone who you are, not who you want it to be.”

Sitting in the middle of this spectrum of ideas was Fleet, who emphasized that work-life balance has become more blurred. “I think about what I’m posting, but I do not post about what I’m not interested in,” he said, further adding, “What you choose to reveal via social media could depend on the platform you’re using.” For instance, Facebook could be used for more personal purposes, LinkedIn for professional and Twitter might serve as a good blend between the two.

Touching upon the importance of having a digital presence within the professional sphere, Fleet said that he looks for people with an established online presence when hiring. Affirming this idea, Evans said, “If you’re going to work in PR, you need a social media presence.” Sure enough, Fallis echoed the exact same sentiment, also adding that the platforms are essentially meant to attract like-minded people to ensure that one is able to avoid clutter and steer clear of the noise within the digital space.

Bottom line is that the future is not going to be very friendly for those of us shying away from embracing the digital platform. The only way forward is to stay on top of your game by either ‘linking-in’ with professionals, ‘tweeting’ relevant stuff, telling your life story via ‘Facebook Timeline’ and perhaps even ‘pinning’ whatever seems interesting. Or, doing all of the above!

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