This is a guest post from Nick Brown.
The way we present ourselves and our business have a lot to do with how we perceive social media and use it. These four tips will help you overcome some common dilemmas surrounding the promotion psychology so that you’ll be able to improve your business reputation.
You Are Not Your Online Persona
The identity we present on social media is not always entirely who we are. The concept of social media and self-packaging makes all of us consolidate our lives into one flattened, very narrow idealised narrative. And everything we put out there is one projection of ourselves we choose to show.
However, this is not how people work. This mindset presumes that we all have just one static identity, which is far from true. In fact, identity is very much fluid and largely dependent on context. And if our friends, co-workers, romantic partners, and family members are privy to the same projection of the self, we actually get context collapse, not integrity.
So, the biggest irony of it all is that even though personal branding embraces the feeling of authenticity, in order to be authentic we must be free to act out of a variety of selves, or in other words, go off-brand.
So what we do most often is create a transactional online persona at the expense of some other, more expressive parts of ourselves. And this little gap we leave between this online image we build so carefully and the reality is what often makes us feel depressed and confused. What you can do to avoid this is to showcase discrete elements of yourself on different platforms.
The most important thing is that you recognise this problem and stay true to yourself as much as you can because you are not your online persona.
Put FOPO in Its Place
Fear of people’s opinion, a term defined by psychologist Michael Gervais, is a natural part of any online presence. It gets to all of us at one point in life. We constantly worry that one tiny mistake could potentially ruin our reputation, haunt us, or even threaten our livelihood. And that is how online self-censorship happens and not only on social media.
It also tends to spill over in real life and make people withhold their opinions.
We all seem to follow the general rule that tells us not to share sensitive and risky content on social media. However, that doesn’t mean we should give in to fearful self-censorship. That is why you need to work on setting boundaries. Just as much as we are capable of walking away from an unpleasant situation in real life, we should be able to do the same online.
You can avoid abuse by looking up privacy and security information that each platform has and block rude people, delete them, and so on. Public validation shouldn’t be something you strive for. Focus on a higher purpose.
Aim to represent diverse perspectives, tell a story that others can learn from, and spread awareness of important things. This is how you end up finding a powerful source of self-worth.
Quell the Urge to Compare
It’s so easy for us to compare ourselves with others on social media. All the likes, followers, tweets, subscribers, shares, and other social media metrics make us feel anxious. They make us feel like products that are to be reviewed and valued depending on our popularity.
That is one of the pitfalls of self-branding online. By basing our self-worth on external validation, our self-esteem relies on others instead of being rooted in our own sense of self-worth.
Trying to overcome the comparison complex can be very challenging, but not impossible. The first step is to start looking at our own flaws in thinking. Try to avoid thinking of branding as a downright competition. Instead, focus on yourself, be creative, invest in your own projects and express your ideas without any filter.
See what you can currently work on to become better at what you do. So, for example, if that’s your branding’s design, ask for professional advice from online agencies such as Hopping Mad design and see how you can improve your branding in that area. The best you can do is focus on yourself and hard work will pay off.
Self-Promotion with a Twist
There are many things we need to consider when presenting our online persona. Self-promotion is very tricky territory. This is where self-disclosure comes in as the part of any soft-sell approach to authenticity, and it usually feels good.
The same regions of the brain associated with food, sex, and money, get activated when people are asked to talk about their personal experiences and opinions. It boosts their self-esteem and helps them regulate their emotions.
However, as good as that may feel, we tend to make an emotional miscalculation. In other words, we tend to overestimate.
Luckily, there is a perfect workaround for this. Packing the self-promotion in a specific language can better its acceptance. For instance, opt for a disclaimer, a reference to hard work rather than natural talent, and so on. This way self-promotion feels more like sharing and less like selling.
However, you need to take the other point of view into account. Ask yourself: “What will your post make your followers feel like? How do I know if I’ve crossed the line?” Well, there is a solution to this dilemma too. Simply ask a third party to promote you. This way, you have a chance of coming off more likeable and competent.
All things considered, building a business reputation certainly isn’t an easy task. However, you shouldn’t let yourself fall under the pressure because finding self-worth is beyond anything else, the most important part.