By Gary Druckenmiller, Jr., co-founder, TheOpenSea.com – If there’s one thing that social marketing has accomplished above all else; it’s the ability to provide a discussion platform for those who are not as adept at communicating face-to-face. It allows you (under the shield of digitization and mass communication) to orchestrate your thoughts more clearly, reflect on moments more accurately and craft your social dialogue almost to perfection if necessary. Believe it or not, that’s a hard thing to do for a lot of people in marine (especially those running small businesses) when you’ve got someone standing in front of you or when you’re on the phone … even when you construct e-mails. Social media is certainly not as spontaneous as all of that.
Unlike other digital communications such as e-mail, which also provide a sense of lag and the ability to carefully consider each word, social media dialogue is really an indicator of who you are as an individual. Your virtual “marine avatar” so to speak. Accompanied by pictures, bios, stats and facts; all of which define you, encapsulate you and personalize you. Try doing that with e-mail.
So are you the same person online as you are offline? The immediate answer is … you should be. Whether you’re using social marketing and media for personal reasons or business reasons (both affect each other these days), how you converse in the social space for marine is directly representative of who you are as an individual in the “real boating world.” You know, the one away from the computer screen and physically on the water? In other words, if you are a relatively introverted person offline where it’s hard to talk to people in your marine business, share your ideas and thinking and moreover … talk, the last thing you should do is suddenly convert yourself into a social blabbermouth online. And obviously the pendulum swings the other way as well. If you’re progressive online, don’t suddenly retract offline; although the latter is rarer. Try to maintain consistency in how your “personality” is portrayed across your entire life domain.
In social media, it is critical to not only develop your own “personality” online, but be consistent with it no matter where you are in the world, either virtual or not. Your online profile becomes perceived over time as who you really are, whether you meant it that way or not. The online social medium is so widely used and accepted now that many will even “get to know you” and your online self before your real self. Weird, I know, but that’s the world we live in. Which brings me to my final thought.
Social media has another amazing power that almost goes unnoticed by most. Social media can take those socially non-skilled in the real world and turn them into public speakers. Well, maybe that’s an extreme, but I think you know what I mean. For many who turn to social media as an outlet for either personal or marine business ventures, it has the innate ability to manifest those who cannot communicate well into those who can. That “discussion platform” I spoke of earlier can over time make you write better, help you converse better and even sell marine better than you ever could previously. Because it forces you to collect and manage your thoughts more appropriately and in doing so, you will naturally become better at doing all those things. The magic happens when you suddenly find your online social profile becoming true and more visible in the real world and in face-to-face situations. That is the 360° personality conversion process that I see happening these days with so many of my business peers, friends, family, etc. Suddenly, they’re all a bunch Tony Robbins’.
Moral of the story is this: Develop your online personality for who you want to be over the rest of your life. Social media isn’t going away so that profile will be with you forever. If this process simply syncs your robust offline life with your online life then consider that a win. If it makes you better at being “social” in all aspects of your life with a major upgrade of social steroids … even better. Regardless, you will become a better communicator across the board by creating your social media persona and sticking with it every day both virtually and on the water.