I ran a matrix workshop today for a Mexican multinational. As people arrived, one introduced himself and said “I follow you on Twitter, nice stuff”. Several others said they ‘recognized me from YouTube’ and my favourite was a smiling “Haven’t I seen you in the movies?”.
It was all in fun, and as we use social media more and point people towards our YouTube channel as an introduction to workshops and training sessions, it becomes more and more common.
However, it reminded me that you can have a social image and reputation amongst people you have never met – and that this can have implications when you do meet. If you have demonstrated expertise and been accessible online, this can help build trust and confidence.
However, if you have established a presence online that s not compatible with the image of your ‘self’ that you want to project, you may have a hard time changing the perception when you meet.
When working with colleagues customers and partners, everything you do is communication: how you respond to an email, how cooperative or social you are….. all contribute to your reputation. Certainly, how you tweet, post and comment over time is likely to be a more accurate illustration of your character and interests than how you behave when you are face to face and on your best behaviour.
An American president once said “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say”. This is just as true with your social presence.