You have a personal brand. Yes, you.

your personal brand

Your personal brand

Have you seen those stupid Facebook status updates about flashing a cop to get out of a ticket? Or the lovely bathroom updates? Not bathroom updates like people are renovating their master suite or guest bath! Updates about issues we’ve all faced while using the facilities. If you’ve been lucky enough to have missed those inappropriate status updates, I envy your Facebook friends list.

The first time I saw one of the updates was actually on reddit, but then I saw a few show up in my Facebook feed. Today, I received a message from a Facebook connection (for now) that reads like it was written by a seven-year-old, or possibly a non-native English speaker. I hope for my Facebook connection’s sake, it was copy and pasted from whatever troll chain letter this person received. The grammar alone is offensive enough, but the content makes me rage enough to take to my blog about it. Here’s a portion of the chain message, and I won’t post the entire stupid, disgusting thing, so it’s safe to read:

Is a game and i had to be a sport now u have to be a sport and post on ur status one of these without giving an explanation and see who falls for it liking or commenting on the status 1) [disgusting, offensive, and misspelled] 2) [also misspelled, and inappropriate for social media] 3) [the speeding ticket one] 4) [ew] 5) [wildly inappropriate]. Be a sport and do it -this is what happens when u comment on stupid statuses like this one like I did

I did not, nor would I comment on any of these status updates. Actually, these are the types of updates that I filter from my Facebook feed. I don’t have to “be a sport,” and neither should you. The way you represent yourself online matters. Everything you put out about yourself counts toward your personal brand. In this day and age, almost all of us are findable on search engines. Personally, I absolutely expect employers, associates, and professionals I respect to Google me. I can’t call myself an experienced marketing and social media professional without paying very close attention to my entire online presence.

Maybe you’re not in marketing. Maybe you’re not even a professional who cares about your reputation. Maybe you’re thinking none of this applies to you, although I can’t imagine a person in the first world for whom this would actually be true, other than a hermit with a large trust fund. Maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom who just uses Facebook for fun. I don’t know why you would ever think so little of your own influence that you would forward or engage in this kind of chain letter-type immature behavior. It’s baffling to me that people don’t realize that once you put something out there, it is always out there.

Like the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo said in the Facebook movie: The internet is written in ink, not pencil.

Even if I haven’t convinced you that your online presence is a large part of your personal brand, don’t ever think I’d compromise mine for your entertainment.


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