23 Things for Research – Thing 6: Consider your personal brand

I have put some thought into my personal brand in the social networking world but have not sat down and created a list of keywords to ensure I am easily searchable or particular topics I should post about. I think my personal brand varies too depending on which social networking site I am using. My blog is my most professional. I don’t like to put anything personal on my blog and like to adopt a reasonably professional tone in my writing. Twitter, again, is mostly used for my career as a librarian with a sprinkling of personal tweets now and then. Facebook is entirely personal and private so anybody who is not a friend cannot find me (useful when you have such a common name too).

1) What content is associated with your name online?

Typing my name into socialmention brought up absolutely nothing and MIT’s Personas project wasn’t working. Combining my name with ‘library’ or ‘Oxford’ in socialmention didn’t help narrow down the results either. If I type my name into Google, though, I am the eighth and ninth result. I am not sure whether that is because I am really popular or whether Google is just creepy enough to search for things I am interested in/close to me geographically and brings up relevant results. I did make sure I was signed out of my Google account to do this.  The eighth is a post I wrote on the Bodleian Libraries Library Graduate Trainee blog four years ago, which is nice to be associated with but a little old. My second entry at number 9 on Google is my Twitter account, which I am more than happy to see there as it reveals my professional self for others to see.

a) Accounts

My professional accounts all appear in a Google search, which I am happy with. I am sometimes a little skeptical about having this kind of information available for people to see but I accept that it is essential to being a librarian and part of the competition. If everyone has professional profiles and I don’t, I lose. So I join in. I try to keep personal details away from social media so people cannot find out too much about me. I have a photo on Twitter and LinkedIn but they are not the same. Hopefully the fact that my face hasn’t changed is enough consistency for now.

b) Personal vs. professional

On Twitter, my blog and LinkedIn I like to be reasonably professional. Not to the point that I write in a report style and and read as aloof but enough to be recognised as someone who takes their career professionally and wants to be seen as so. I don’t think swearing, personal holiday photos, or family crises are the kind of material I want to advertise but I try to be myself in that I am friendly and helpful.

Facebook is the place for me to be entirely personal and I make sure nothing can be seen if someone is not friends with me (except cover photos – why cant they be made private?!).

What do other people see when they look at my social media profiles? Hopefully a librarian, for starters. If my aim is to make myself professionally present in the social networking sphere but people don’t realise I am a librarian, or that I am interested in librarianship, I am failing. However, I think I have succeeded in this. I also hope to be seen as up-to-date and interested in current issues in librarianship. This might be through courses and talks I attend or articles that I read.

2) Exploring further

The exploring further part of Thing 6 looks at linking your social media accounts together. My Twitter profile has a link to blog. My blog in turn has a link to Twitter and my LinkedIn profile. My LinkedIn profile has a link to my blog. This will hopefully encourage people to look at my various profiles, which provide different types of information. I didn’t realise you could set up Google alerts, which monitors search queries you specify. I have set up an alert to search for some keywords related to me but I doubt I am searched for very often, so I’ll see if anything ever pops up!

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