Identity Crisis

So perhaps “crisis” isn’t the right word, however “confusion” might suit.

As most of you know, I’m a social media junkie. It’s part of my job for goodness sakes! I founded my company around it. This is where I admit that I may have inadvertently screwed with my social media identity personally.

See, I first joined Twitter as @emilysandford. I talked to local people, followed news sites and marketing firms, talked about marketing and all things in my professional life.

About 1 year later, I started my weight loss blog, Skinny Emmie. I started talking about all things weight loss, fitness, and food, which I thought may be annoying to those following @emilysandford and my normal marketing blabber. Thus, @skinnyemmie was started.

I manage several Twitter accounts in addition to my own 2 (and now 3 with company Twitter @authsocial), so it’s not a problem to continue this way. This weekend though, I was at a conference and I didn’t know whether I was @emilysandford or @skinnyemmie. It was about marketing and social media. I have a bigger following at @skinnyemmie. I tweet more frequently there. So would it make sense that I combine the 2 accounts and just be the single person that I am?

Here’s our topic differences:

In the end, it’s all me no matter where I’m tweeting from. I’m thinking of consolidating, but just want some feedback:

What should I do?

Social Timing

Have you ever gone to a party and scanned the room for people you know? You zoom in on your targets, then approach and try to organically pop into the conversation. After a few seconds of overhearing the conversation, you realize that it was the completely wrong time to join in. Your happy face just interrupted a deep discussion about someone’s family members recent cancer diagnosis. Gah.

Two things with social that I see all the time from both individuals and small businesses:

  1. Poor timing: This includes not responding in a timely manner (an expectation of “timely” is set by your customer), not engaging while your customer is online (instead, only when it is convenient for you to do so), and not posting content when your customers are most likely to see it.
  2. Improper context: This one stretches the gamut of possible oopsies, from misappropriate use of a hashtag to reacting in haste to a negative post without reading the entire background. This causes major foot-in-mouth syndrome.

To fix poor timing:

  • Think about when people are using your product or when they need you. I had an experience with Verizon Wireless this week where I had no email service and it seemed to be a widespread problem. Unfortunately, when the social media team clocked out, all the in-progress help they were giving users went with it.
  • You can utilize services like Crowdbooster so you can see when your followers are most active so your tweets have the most potential for impact.
  • You can also just observe when your followers seem to be most active. When are they responding to your blog or to your Facebook posts? You can also look at research like that in the infographic below from Argyle Social.

To fix improper context:

  • Listen before you pipe in. If you see your name come up, make sure you read the conversation participants past tweets so you can reply with proper context.
  • If you’re unsure of context, just ask. A short “is there something I can help you with?” goes a long way.

Here’s a great infographic that provides data-driven insights into the social media timing.

Data-driven social media marketing from Argyle Social

Do you schedule your social media activities around periods of high engagement? Any tips?

Lessons beyond the books

I recently had a post featured on, a great professional development blog for young women.

You’ve taken the GMAT, gotten into the business school of your choice, and have a set of suits ready and waiting in your closet. Undoubtedly, you’re a high achiever who will focus on academics in business school.  But there are extremely high-value lessons that you can learn besides those of net present value, product development, international finance, and strategic planning…

Go check it out- Beyond the books: Unexpected Lessons from Business School

Ready, Set, Act!

I think a common characteristic with millennials is that we have a desire to change things, make our situation better, enjoy life more, soak up knowledge and have experiences. We are inundated with content from a barrage of websites, blogs and social media sites sharing insights from worlds we love and worlds we want to be a part of. I subscribe to no less than 5 different categories of blogs: marketing, fitness/weight loss, home decorating, work industry-related, celebrity and local, among others. It’s quick to fall into a giant time suck of interesting things because there is so.much.content. We get inspired, have ideas, get creative.

image via Sweet Station

By swimming in this ocean of content, I wonder if we’re going to get drowned. How much time do we spend thinking instead of doing?

I was out at lunch yesterday and had a fleeting idea for a website. I took out my Droid Incredible and used an app to buy the domain in less than 2 minutes. When I got home from work, I was pontificating (aka talking to myself) about when I would have time to work on a new project. How many new projects have I wanted to start that I didn’t? Time, money, resources – they’re all reasons I haven’t started. I started my weight loss blog and efforts over a year and a half ago and now think it’s silly that I used time as an excuse. What can we eliminate from our lives that is sucking our time? What do we do if there truly IS no time (which very well might be true if you’re working full time, have a family, or have already started a project or two)? Do we give up our ideas?

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” ~Thomas Edison

My fear is that we become a generation of dreamers, but not doers.

How are you navigating the pool of ideas versus time, money, etc. to ACT on your ideas?