I’m good at social media. That sounds super conceited, but it’s not. In all honesty, I’m kind of baffled by it. I write posts (or tweets, or snaps, etc.) and people just relate to them. Sometimes I write them for my job, sometimes I write them for causes I believe in, sometimes I simply write them for myself. And, people respond.
I’ve put some thought into why I’m good at social media. And, I can assure you it’s not because of anything I’ve done to learn, gain, or deserve the skill. Rather, I think it’s because I’m authentic.
I had a communications mentor when I first started at my co-op. His background was in sports journalism and he had been with us for over 15 years as the editor of our magazine. He taught me that the key to being a good columnist was a willingness to be vulnerable with one’s readers.
It turns out that same concept works on social media. Authenticity and vulnerability go hand in hand. I’m not afraid to be my true self on social media. I’m not afraid to show my quirks, my sense of humor, my fears, and my triumphs. And, people relate to that.
I think we are more afraid to show our true selves on social media because of the immediacy of it. People can immediately judge us, and find us worthy, or find us lacking. What a terrifying prospect for anyone willing to make themselves vulnerable! The feedback cycle is easy for reviewers and preserved for perpetuity for other readers.
Sometimes it’s easy to get hyper-generational when it comes to describing communications skills. “She’s good, but she’s old school,” or, “he can do social media, but can he write?” What an unproductive way to think about communications!
At the end of the day, the skills that make us great communicators are eternal. And, at the heart of all of our communications, is this basic truth… regardless of the medium, we are all looking for a healthy dose of authenticity with a dash of vulnerability.