Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Branding You: A Recap

Living in a digital age, details of our lives are increasingly broadcast over social media sites both for personal and professional purposes. Jewish employment Toronto (JET), a programming arm of United Jewish Appeal's Community Connect, recently held a panel discussion at the Jewish Urban Meeting Place (JUMP). The purpose was to examine the meaning behind, and evaluate how to maximize one's potential for using digital tools to brand ourselves.

Moderated by JUMP staffer Steve Mendel, the panel consisted of Dan Hadad, associate director of new media and campaigns at the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Jeff Waldman, a social media consultant, Daneal Charney, author and Generation Y career guide, and Nick Stein director of content and media at Rypple, a social media consulting firm.

The message I took away from the discussion was that when diving into the use of social media you have to, as Daneal put it "work out a clear strategy" for the public display of your information. Speaking as one who also spreads content out across multiple sites, I believe each medium does in fact have a specific use.

For instance, at the moment Facebook is the dominant social tool on the Internet. It has its own niche applications – games, pages and groups for business, event shares and real time chat capabilities.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn is viewed as the place you go to post and build up your resume online. And Twitter, the last of the top three social websites, is a scaled-down version of a Facebook news feed.

The lines between them can't be easily blurred, because the same content can not be pushed in quite the same manner on each site. One must tailor their message accordingly.

Nick Stein believes that our notion of what is acceptable to put out across social channels has diminished. If that's true, that people are much more forgiving of what they see or read, prospective law students and medical students for example, would see fit to leave compromising photos published on their social profiles. Today, many of my friends take a more cautious approach and remove potentially harmful pictures for school admissions and future employment opportunities.

The propensity to "over share" on these sites is increasing, and branding done right tends to create a lasting presence, be it for either an object or a person. So I believe that if content is king, the right image projected is made all the more important.

The question is: Do you believe it best to tailor your image wherever your digital footprint trail may lead?

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