You: The Brand

How do you brand yourself online?

The type of material individuals choose to post online varies from person to person. There’s no consensus on the “right” way to manage your online persona. Let’s use Twitter as an example. Log in to Twitter right now and take a a look at your feed – it’s likely you’ll see a smattering of posts from a wide range of topics. My feed currently shows items as diverse as:

“Not sure I like the new Safari”
“Another successful, if wet, trip to the farmers market”
“How to Manage Twitter” (with a bit.ly url)
“ow.”

Each of these people took time out of their days (ok, probably a small amount of time) and posted this to Twitter for their followers to see. Some of these folks have private feeds and are selective about their followers. They use Twitter for fun – and that’s fine. But what about those who use Twitter as a way to build their business, engage clients, to establish their place as a professional and an expert in their fields? What’s the appropriate balance for those users between personal and professional?

If you use Twitter as a “professional” – I define this as someone who tweets to the general public (non-private feed), uses Twitter as a networking and self-promotion tool AND has professional colleagues as followers – how do you decide what is and is not appropriate to broadcast?

There are the clearly inappropriate posts (aka “TMI”). But there are also the non sequiturs. The inside jokes. The polenta recipes and the Hawaiian vacation photos. Arguably, these are the posts that make us “human.” The real person behind the feed, not just some automaton. But where do you choose to draw the line? How do you walk the line between personal and professional? Or do you abide by a line at all?

I’d like to hear your thoughts on what’s appropriate, what’s not, and how you manage your online brand.

[Update: thoughts from Mashable and Zephoria on quality Tweeting. Also, a link to the Pear Media study stating that 40% of Tweets are “pointless babble.”]

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