Be Smart About Art

You and the internet - Put up or shut up

written by: Susan Mumford Jan. 18, 2015 1) RECOMMENDED-> Susan Mumford + Chris King's Blog 4173 views

You and the internet - Put up or shut up

from our Sunday reading series - a weekly blog post (subscribe here

In these social media days, we often post about where we are, who we’re meeting with and the like. It’s an excellent way to give your followers an insight into your day to day life, and it’s also excellent for connecting with people.

In order to let others know that you’re using social media and in an effort to prompt them to connect with you, it’s advisable to present your social media ‘handles’ (username) on promotional materials. This includes business cards, postcards, invitations, website, email footer etc. Also consider special events at which you can place your social media contact info on a presentation or print-out.

Bear in mind though, that you should only promote social media profiles that you actually use. Otherwise it can reflect poorly on YOU.

This brings to mind a professional development workshop that I attended last year. It was a winter’s evening in London and I arrived a good 15 minutes prior to the event starting. It was an opportunity to meet others, grab a drink, and of course, post on social media.

What prompted me to even think about composing a tweet? The presenter had a welcome slide on the screen that provided her Twitter handle. This was an excellent idea, for attendees could promote her wisdom and the event live online. Before commencing networking, I set to composing a tweet. Prior to including the presenter’s handle in the post, I did a quick little bit of research to check out her own profile… and whoopsie!… she hadn’t sent a tweet in over a year. A year, for goodness sake!

What on earth was she doing presenting her presence on this social media platform when she clearly didn’t use it? Well here’s what happened:

I sent the post but didn’t include her Twitter handle. She evidently didn’t use the platform anyway, and I didn’t want to send any of my followers to the account of  someone who wasn’t really taking part., since that could reflect poorly on me.

Furthermore, a seed of doubt as to her ability and expertise was sown in my mind. Did the lack of attention to a promoted social media profile indicate a lack of commitment to keeping up to date in the profession? I certainly didn’t want to pay attention to someone who isn’t able to stay on top of things.

Here’s the takeaway. It’s excellent to present your online presence in various formats. You connect and reconnect with others, build relationships and the like. However if you are not active on a platform, don’t promote it to your audience. The latter can do the opposite of what you intend by damaging brand YOU. 

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Photographs © Chris King.

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Susan, thank you for your lovely and very useful posts. I have been following you since I attended a seminar you gave in Euroarts studios in London 2 years ago. Many thanks