Vulnerability In Social Media. What You Need To Know To Do It Right.
When my husband asked me for a picture of us in 2009, I immediately knew the #10yearchallenge went viral. He is never up to social media trends! So, of course, I wanted to jump into the challenge… until I checked out the stories that people were sharing.
What’s wrong with the #10yearchallenge?
There is nothing wrong. In a simple answer, you’re just supposed to share a picture side by side comparing your life in 2009 vs your life in 2019. The problem is that the trend went way too far in how people curated their lives.
In case you haven’t checked, go ahead and search on Instagram for the #10yearchallenge. You will the search results and will find Instagram influencers with unbelievable stories! Based on those search results, you will think that the world turned into a better place within the last 10 years.
This made me wonder… why do most people feel the urge to curate their lives on social media? Don’t we connect better when we are vulnerable and real? Then, why don’t people just show more vulnerability?
If you’re wondering where the line is between sharing your life- raw and vulnerable and attracting people to you- the real you, then keep reading!
The Mandatory Question: What The Heck Is Vulnerability?
One of the most quoted definitions of vulnerability is from Brené Brown “Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It’s tough to do that when we’re terrified about what people might see or think.”
As small children, we are open and free, sharing all of ourselves with others. Until something very painful happens: your best friend reveals your secret to someone and that someone decides to share with everyone. And now you’re exposed. This can be one of the most traumatic experiences for a child. Did you ever experience how is like being exposed and ashamed as a kid? I did… plenty of times.
As we grow and mature, we soon learn that the world can be a very painful place. We learn that not everyone is on our side, and not all situations are going to go our way. We get disappointed and go through growing pains, and that’s how the fear of vulnerability is formed.
Think about your first love. You believed in eternity. You thought this was the only person you could ever loved. And then… You got hurt.
The fear of vulnerability is ultimately a fear of rejection or abandonment. You have been hurt before, so you seek to minimize the risk of being hurt again.
Why Is Vulnerability A Good Thing, Especially For Your Marketing?
Vulnerability is scary. However, if you are business owners, c-suite executives, leaders, or trying to build a name and a personal brand, vulnerability is needed.
The well-known neuroscientist, Antonio Damasio stated, “We are not thinking machines that feel rather, we are feeling machines that think.”
Damasio made this discovery: every human decision depends on emotion — every single one.
We make each choice somatically. In other words, we feel each decision out.
In sum, it’s about EMOTIONS.
Your personal-vulnerable stories will get you closer to your audience. Even more than your superhero stories. In general, people relate more with struggles than with wins.
Vulnerable Leaders Are Confident
People who do have a lot of self-confidence, are actually willing to show more of themselves. They’re willing to be vulnerable because they’re not afraid that someone might come in and take advantage of that. A recent set of studies calls this phenomenon “the beautiful mess effect.” It suggests that everyone should be less afraid of opening up—at least in certain cases.
The best example: video marketing!
Have you ever used video to increase your business? Have you thought about it but decided it wasn’t for you? Did you try it and feel embarrassed and not want to do it again? Even if you are a pro in video marketing, you know that the struggle is real, especially for women! We need to have the perfect background, the perfect hair and makeup, perfect nails, and of course, the idea of what we are saying. It’s exhausting.
With video, the more you do it, the more confident you get on camera, and then you learn that it’s ok if you mess up. You laugh and move on. By the way, I want to add a side note here and feature Barnes Team Media from Austin, Texas. They are educators on how to perform better on camera. You should check them out! Mike & Kim Barnes!
The next time you’re hesitating about sharing a great message on video, just think about the beautiful mess effect. People love messy! People love reality shows!
But what about your content marketing, in particular, social media marketing, how vulnerable do you really need to be? Where is the line between vulnerability and privacy?
The Golden Rule of Social Media: Be Personal, Not Private
In my book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media, rule #3 is Be Personal, But Not Private.
We all have that one friend on social media who tells us what she had for breakfast, what she wore to work today, the fight she just had with her mother, the supervisor at her job that constantly calls her out and, you know, I could go on and on about her life, or, just go check her social media pages to tell you exactly what is going on with her.
This is exactly WHAT NOT TO DO on social media. It is a desperate cry for attention and while you need the attention and you want new visitors to your social media profiles and pages, this is not the way to get it. In fact, this type of behavior attracts the attention you really don’t need.
You need to be more intentional with what you share on social media, especially if you want to attract a high-level profile.
Give Your Audience What They Want (It’s 4 Things)
Think about what your friends want to see from you.
Normally, people are open to know about things that benefit them, such as:
- How to save money
- How to make more money
- How to save time, or
- How to save efforts.
Those are the top motivators. You see, it’s not about you! It’s about them.
People don’t want to remember how dramatic your life is or how tough it is to be a parent. We all go through highs and lows. People don’t want constant reminders of your lows; especially when you have poor judgment on your images.
Your friends don’t need to see your c-section scar, bleeding, to know that you have a baby and it was a c-section.
You are entitled to a private life that you share with your family and close friends, away from your business. Do not cross the line of displaying your private life on social media.
Marketing is all about igniting human connections. You want to activate the power of emotions by being a human, to ignite those connections and then, give your audience what they want.
Is that simple! If you’re a content creator, having a clear understanding of how to humanize a brand without crossing the line is very important.
My Vulnerable #10yearchallenge
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My #10yearchallenge Disclaimer: Do not believe everything you read. People are sharing on this 10 year challenge what’s convenient. They want you to believe that life is like going on an elevator and you get older and everything gets fixed. That’s not true. 2009 – 2019 Was a very hard period. I was either pregnant, or coming out of a pregnancy. Trying to figure things out. —— Career wise, a roller coaster. Won a lot and lost a lot. —- I’m grateful for the blessings but I’m more grateful for the adversity I’ve lived over the last 10 years. It has sharpened me to be who I am today. —- So… the picture! 2009 we came to Austin to visit some family. They took us to Mount Bonell. We were living in Connecticut and honestly this trip planted the seed of us moving to Austin. We moved in 2013 when I was pregnant of Priscilla. We were a family of 4 and now a family of 6 and 2 dogs. And yes, we ended the rat race which is a big win! But again, there were plenty of challenges too. I hope to read your 10 yr story! Tag me! #10yearchallenge #adecade #growing #growthmindset #mondaymotivation #instagood #inspiredaily
I wish I could tell you that in 10 years, I moved a magic wand and my life changed mysteriously. Well, that’s not true.
I wish I could tell you that in 10 years, I went from my 30’s to my 40’s and I retired with millions of dollars in the bank. This isn’t the case. I had multiple wins between 2010-2013 and several losses in 2014. Those generated plenty of changes for all of us. Changes that were scary, but we are now grateful for all.
I wish that in 10 years I didn’t find myself 50 pounds heavier, and still struggling with my diet. But that’s not the case.
In reality, I can claim some wins. More wins than losses. But I would be a fraud if I tell you everything has been incredibly great. Our family of 6 has seen adversity. It’s extremely difficult pursuing your personal goals, business goals while raising a family with intentionality. I wish more people were real when sharing their #10yearchallenge.
My goal for the next ten years is to be present. To be real. To be vulnerable. This might explain why my personal Facebook is off. I want to figure some things out before I go ahead and create content: for whom?
The last decade was all about growing a massive audience. For some reason, it doesn’t serve me well. I’m all about quality, not quantity.
I have realized how much I love being a small business owner, in particular, a solopreneur and how much I love helping others succeed; especially those who need me the most.
This is me- the real me. With grammatical errors and a crazy accent.
Being vulnerable has opened plenty of doors for me. I wish I had known this 9 years ago, when I was hiding my mistakes, my accent, and tried to be someone else.
If you’re in the process of building a personal brand, take vulnerability seriously and build an audience that you can connect with. Find that line that allows you to connect with your tribe, for real. And just focus on being you, just a little bit better each day.
Don’t Forget This Marketing Secret
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