Social Media Personas: Are you too much?

When is your personality too much? Many companies and organizations have posted about what is and is not appropriate to publish as a representative of an organization when using social media.  There are statements that can be added to an employee’s profile if they indicate an affiliation with their employer or other terms that can be added if speaking from an organization’s standpoint.

Overall it seems like a good idea, particularly the setting of social media policies that clearly outline what is expected of their workers if they engage in social media on the company’s behalf. My question, however, is when does an organization lose its voice? Is it ok to show a little personality versus a business-like tone in some cases?

If your audience is likes to use slang terminology or pop culture references, mirroring your audience and the way they communicate could be a great way to connect.  It’s a fine line to balance depending on your company image/culture, but it is something that deserves thought.

If you want to be perceived as…

  1. Professional –  steer away from exclamation points, slang, politically charged topics, connect to other professional accounts
  2. Young – consider using current slang, exclamation points, emoticons, reposting similar users’ content, comment on popular culture in addition to topics relevant to your industry/area
  3. Innovative -discover new sites for your connections to visit, comment on cutting edge technologies in your area, provide advice to followers

The list goes on.  Any other suggestions or thoughts?

Networking: Creating TRUE Fans vs. Passive Followers

I attended a job search workshop targeted to MBA students yesterday and left feeling inspired. My main takeaway from the talk was the importance of networking while job searching.  Even though networking was discussed in the context of the job search, it made me think about how valuable true networking and relationship building can be in any setting.

When you engage in social networking for your employer,  do you think about how to cultivate a deeper relationship with your followers & fans?  Are you participating in meaningful conversation, or are you shouting from your soap box?

No one wants to be “that girl”–you know the type. The girl that only talks about herself and could care less that you just got promoted or took up ballroom dancing. Let me be clear by stating that I’m not suggesting that you go totally off topic and delve into your followers’ social lives. Rather, are you actively listening to their needs and fostering the relationship? If you don’t listen to what they have to say, then why would they listen to you?

Comment on other people’s blogs & statuses. Pose questions and ask for feedback.  Retweet an insightful post from a follower. That will help to create a more meaningful AND reciprocal relationship.


Lesson of the day: You have to give to get.

Email Etiquette…Do YOU have it?

I get about 60 emails a day. That’s right. 60.  As a career consultant that works with college students daily, I’ve seen a lot of netiquette violations.  I’ve included two real examples.

Exhibit A:


Mrs. Ledgerwood,
I was unable to attend the career fair yesterday (Feb 16) and I was wondering if you knew of when the next one will be held?
Thank you,
Firstname Lastname


The first problem with this is that the student addressed me as “Mrs.”  I’m not married and it’s awkward to have to tell someone you aren’t married.  Always use “Ms.” when you are unsure. The second problem is that this information could be found by looking on our events page which is prominently posted on our home page.  Take the time to try to find the answer before emailing someone. Lastly, include an email signature–name, major, email address and phone number.

Exhibit B:


Hi Laura,
My name is _____and I’m a Warnell forestry major. My mother said i should contact you if I ever need resume or cover letter help. I’ve attached my resume and a cover letter for a job I’m fixing to apply for. If you could look over those i would really appreciate it. Thank you
-FirstName Lastname


Anyone else having a hard time reading this?  The font is small and strains the eye.  Additionally, if you have never met the person you are emailing before, it is not appropriate to address them by their first name.  You should also ask yourself if your request or question can easily answered.  Do you think an email can really help answer if you have a good resume, cover letter, and how it relates to the job description? Remember the saying “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  Sometimes certain communication mediums (i.e. email) aren’t appropriate.

Do I even need to say anything about the mother comment? Or the lack of a closing like “Thanks” or “Sincerely” before his name? “I” should also be capitalized when engaging in professional communications.

Before sending an email to an employer or really anyone, send it to yourself.  Ask yourself: is what I’m asking reasonable, easy to answer, and clear.  If it takes 5 paragraphs to answer your one line question, delete your email and pick up the phone.