Here’s a story from DavidHenderson.com about a “Twevent” that happened to a senior level public relations employee. The case involved FedEx (the client) and the following Tweet:
True confession but I’m in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say “I would die if I had to live here! citation
DavidHenderson.com summarized the ensuing events:
Someone inside FedEx was following…and that person shared the post among the top executives at the FedEx front office, and the company’s corporate communications staff. At that point, a person in the FedEx corporate communications staff apparently took umbrage to the post…and responded [to him].
The public relations executive posted the following Tweet as events ensued over the next couple of days:
This is hard to fit in 140 characters or less so please read here. All about my recent Twitter post citation
I found this FedEx story via this Sun Microsystems blog post which discusses issues surrounding one’s digital legacy. The key take-away, in my opinion, is to understand that crowdsourcing memes can possibly lead to unintended consequences and misinterpreted meanings.
Thus, when asked by real estate professionals about how they should approach social media generally, and Twitter specifically, I talk about defining digital personas and sticking to that persona in every post, Facebook or LinkedIn update, Tweet, etc.
Here are my thoughts regarding managing one’s digital legacy:
- Define the persona you want to convey to your known audience as well as your unknown audience; this will become your digital legacy over time
- Understand that Facebook differs from LinkedIn which differs from Twitter, etc, and that each social media space has a different environment–ecosystem or culture if you will–that you must first understand and then integrate with after you understand it (I say lurk heartedly to see how other people use a specific medium, read the FAQs and support sections, etc, then step into the playground when you have a general sense of the rules)
- You can have varied persona’s for each environment, but each such persona should roll-up to support the overall “personal brand” you’re trying to build (think of the different personalities you adopt during client presentations, while at the office, at cocktail parties, etc)
- Think 24 months out from now and ask yourself “What do I want people to see when they search me on Google”? Think about what “output” or “outcome” you want in this circumstance, and then work backwards at ensuring that your “inputs” (your blog posts, your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles, and the majority of your Tweets) meet your expected outcome
Perhaps I am over thinking this. However, when I read posts like the above, I cannot help but think that a managed approach like the simple process I’ve outlined is a viable approach for real estate professionals (especially agents new to the space) whose livelihood, value, reputation, and expertise will be run through a Google (or some new equivalent) sieve for the foreseeable future.