“Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Bob,” he said, flashing his winning smile. He shook my hand firmly and authoritatively. He exuded the confidence and charm of leadership.
“I know,” I replied. (Was this a faux pas?) “We follow each other on Faceboook and Twitter. I’ve enjoyed the exchanges we’ve had.”
I was being sincere. We have exchanged numerous “@ each other” exchanges on Twitter and have posted a number of times on one another’s Facebook pages.
He grinned and said, “Oh that stuff. I don’t know much about that social media crap. I outsource that to someone in the Philippines. I just send him money every month and he does all that for me. He’s great, isn’t he?”
Yup. Sure fooled me.
I smiled back.
Now I can see outsourcing a business profile, but at least if you outsource your personal social media to someone, don’t let on that you’re not really who you say you are on line. Don’t brag that you’re not the one out there putting in the time to make connections and have interactions with real humans who might one day shake your hand. It could cost you a real, live reputation for honesty – not to mention referrals.
Outsourcing your personal social media interactions may work for presidents of countries or rock stars, but if you’re a regular business person with only a modicum of fame and fortune, be real.
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Sarah Elaine Eaton is a faculty member in the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada.