Social networking and geolocation are quickly becoming one prevailing and inseparable unit. Geolocation is the latest craze to hit the social media landscape through phone applications like Foursquare and Gowalla and website integrations with Twitter and Facebook. With all of these new ways of sharing where you are and who you’re with, it can be tempting to give a little too much information a little too often.
To share or not to share?
If you think of yourself as a brand, you have to manage yourself like a brand. Anything “consumer facing” needs to be regulated and thought out depending on the image you want your brand to have. Maybe you don’t care if your friends see you checking in on Foursquare at your 3rd bar at 2:00am on a Wednesday night, but broadcasting that information across your social networks opens your personal life to a whole lot of prying eyes. Who’s prying eyes are looking in to your social life might you ask? Well that all depends on who you’re sharing information with. Does every tweet you send have a GPS tag? Does your geolocation app of choice link to your Facebook or Twitter? If the answer is yes, you need to think about who your friends & followers are across all of these tools.
There are also some great ways to use geolocation and social networking to boost your personal brand image. If you’re checking in at conferences, museums and social events it gives you the image of someone who is involved in your industry, is educated and is well
connected. It’s up to you to decide what you want to share, but it’s not always up to you to decide who will see what you’re doing.
Before you shout it all out to the masses, ask yourself these few simple questions:
- What image am I trying to have?
- How might this affect that image?
- Who is going to see this?
- Is there anyone I DON’T want to see this?
- Is there anyone I DO want to see this?
- What kind of person does this make me look like?
There’s an old saying that lends itself very well to this situation that goes, “Think before you speak”. Keep that in mind as you get in to sharing your location (if you do at all) and your personal brand will be fine.
David Trahan is currently working at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York, and previously held positions with the Ad Council, Goldman Sachs and others. He is a recent graduate of Pace University where he received many scholarships and awards and is now a mentor in their Alumni Mentor Program. David also serves as a member of the AD Club of New York Young Professionals Steering Committee. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter, and on his website.