Social Media Power and a Personal Branding Wake-Up Call

I am attending the 12th Annual Talent Management Summit as a participant and as a moderator. This post is not about the summit. It is about the power of social media and a personal branding wake-up call.

The Power of Social Media

@TalentMgmtSmt was extremely kind on Twitter when they said, "12th Annual Talent Management Summit is proud to welcome super blogger and HR Expert @lisarosendahl to the speaker faculty!"

Although I am not an expert and don't consider myself a super blogger, I appreciated the thoughts just the same. So, how did it come to be that I was asked to moderate? It goes to Shauna Moerke, aka the lovable HR Minion. She did it. Experienced conference attendees are probably thinking right now it's a moderator spot, not a key note speaker, get your feet back on the ground. My feet are firmly planted and you have to know that the offer to moderate, as cool as it is, is not what blows me away right now.

I am blown away by the amazing gesture. Shauna, whom I have not yet had the opportunity to meet in person, recommended me. Wow, what an awesome compliment.

If we have not yet met, how do we of know each other? We've gotten to know each other through our blogs, HR social networks, and Twitter. If not for social media, I would not have had the opportunity to know Shauna or to meet so many other amazing people. Considering this is what I'm gaining as an entry level student in social media, imagine the possibilities!

Personal Branding

Whether you realize it or not, people are forming impressions of you each and every day. I received the following e-mail this week in response to my post, HR Matters. I'm in Print!

Congratulations! We really enjoy your thoughts....3-4 of us at Company X are following you. You are a prime example of building a brand on-line. You have become SO WELL KNOWN from your Tweets, Blogs/use of social media--pioneer you are!

I know the sender. We have spoken a few times, but we have not met. She also has an impression of me based on my blog and Twitter. She even used the "B" word - brand. Whoa. Me building a brand on line? Branding was something for me to take a look at "some day," but really, isn't that what we all are doing every time we post a comment, picture, link, or tweet?

What do you know about branding? One recent, simple, solid, straight to the point post on branding I like is by Jason Seiden. Jason offers his 3 steps to a kickin' personal brand: be self aware: know who you are; be honest: tell the truth about who you are; be at ease: be comfortable with who you are.

Personal branding or not, this is general all-around good advice for simply being, connecting and getting to know others. How do you measure up?

Final Note

If you are thinking about making the leap into social media and are hesitant, think again. Take it one step at a time. Comment on a blog, follow a colleague on Twitter, set up a Facebook page or establish a Linked In profile. Connect with a friend or two and let your network grow naturally and at your pace.

You are your own brand. Manage this wisely. Be authentic, be nice to others and be prepared for the unexpected.