Personal branding, social media and why I’m closing my social B2C accounts

« Scrolling through life and fishing for praise »

Drake, Emotionless

Social media are platforms that have started as a virtual extension of associations and groups. They allowed members to stay connected outside their physical space. These groups were often tied to trades or skills where it was a way to improve ourselves. This improvement was more outside-in where people could go on their own time to perfect something that mattered to them.

Social media has evolved to a place where people manage their personal branding more from an inside-out perspective where the goal is to show an idea of success, or fullness that we are all longing for. This fullness, just like a brand, is subject to approvals and critics (positive or negative). Most public figures have professionals managing their brands that are tied to some type of income. When we sell ourself with our resume in our career, we become a B2B product, then we need a handful of qualitative platforms that are geared towards this objective of showing our values and work ethics. Linkedin is relevant for B2B branding, and help us meet a specific goal: Being seen as a professional that will increase our marketability and (hopefully) our social condition.

In the case of B2C social networking, for most people not trying to make money of their personal image, this delimitation is not as clear because we tend to fall into personal branding very easily and fast. Personal branding becomes an issue when our objective is not clear. This lack of objective leads to a confusion around the outcomes. Outcomes of social media today are likes, reposts, tags, and things of that nature, and social networks encourage these metrics by encouraging people to sponsor their personal posts to get more social praises. 

B2C social networking is not relevant for me, but it is extremely important for other professionals.

My personal brand.

I consider myself as a dreamer, a Christian, a family man, I like sports, playing music, I think that I am romantic, proud black man, and passionate about everything from rain drops to quantum physics.

This in itself is a segmentation, and it is the reason why it is so efficient to target an audience with a specifically tailored messaging. Social networks quality are measured by the time we actively use the app. This time is tied to the number of ads displayed on the platform.

If You’re Not Paying For It, You Become The Product

My personal brand is up for improvement in case it begins to not match who I want to be and in this case we can have a discussion. My public brand image is a snapshot of who I am at a specific time. I don’t have to commit in one single personality type. My close friends and family (that have my direct contact), can impact my personality to change.

Oh yes, as part of my personal brand I am a business man, I love marketing technologies and creating links between people and technological solutions.

My personal objective

I am not looking for approvals, validation nor social kudos. I receive these when I do something relevant for the people in my circle that I cherish, and I am aware that their praises are not necessarily linked to the action but to the bond that we share. In my personal channels, I like to send public praise and encouragement to my private and public network, I don’t scold someone in public to show my worth. 

I have been a heavy user of B2C platforms when I was a student, it was mostly to exchange pictures, and physically being open for a romantic partner. Before I started to date my wife, I liked ALL her pictures as a way to show her my interest for her. At the time, the objective of a B2C social platform was very clear. Now that my time is full, I try not to be around my kids scrolling on my phone. Working from home involves enough screen time. As a result, I don’t share about the things that are the most important for me, I don’t post pictures of my kids, I don’t tell my wife that I love her publicly on our anniversary, I send personal messages on birthdays, I don’t post pictures of my parents, or my extended family. This is why I am questioning the use of these platforms for my use. 

The idea of success

After my last birthday, one of my contacts sent me a message where they mentioned: “seeing your pictures, it looks like you are very successful and that all is well on your side, I’m so happy for you”. While I am sincerely thankful for the comment, I also think that allowing it to impact my pride would also require that I accept a negative comment that would also have an effect on my pride, such as “Charles you look terrible and I don’t like your pictures because you are an hypocrite.” To be honest I would not be surprised that some people have this opinion in mind, and that’s their right

People looking at my/our social B2C pages believe in an idea of success, and this snapshot is not necessarily tied to the reality. The public can’t see the work to get to a specific place. This can lead to a social misunderstanding due to the fact that people can’t appreciate the effort it took to be in a specific condition. This leads to people faking their ways to achieve the same result, posing in a luxury car, a private plane, showing brands, smoking cigars. 

I am always interested that for birthdays and wedding anniversaries some of my contacts would send messages to their significant other on social channels when it should be directed to 1 specific person. 

“I know a girl whose one goal was to visit Rome,Then she finally got to Rome and all she did was post pictures for people at home, ‘Cause all that mattered was impressin’ everybody she’s known”

Drake – Emotionless

Keeping it 100 💯 

Our 100 is a little too raw, and considering that “Your Liberty To Swing Your Fist Ends Just Where My Nose Begins” (Abraham Lincoln), I don’t need to give my opinion on everything, and especially it doesn’t have to be negative. The false impression of “Keeping it 100” removes the required empathy that is needed when we speak with people not as fortunate as us, and put us as a point of reference for the way we interact with the world. This not fair and leads to insecurities. 

Some people take the « keeping it 100 » excuse to be mean and give their opinions on something they can’t comprehend. 

When you scratch to see who’s there on the other end of the shade Most times it’s just somebody that’s underage,  That’s probably just alone and afraid, and lashin’ out so that someone else can feel they pain

Drake – Emotionless
The rise of social media - Our World in Data

Be grounded in yourself, stay healthy, keep safe, make sure that you are protected mentally and physically in these challenging times.