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I ran into a lit bit of social media etiquette dilemma today. It was the nicest problem to have but I had to ponder a little before I went with my gut on what felt appropriate for me….

Social media for work is all about personal branding, right? I give this advice to clients and have no problem implementing strategies that further this goal. But when it comes to my personal branding as a freelance writer, I tend to hold back.  Call it cultural grounding or gender restraint or just plain personal hang-up, I find it hard to step up with any direct references to my work. I worry so much about crossing that line into annoying self-promotion that I stay far away from it, like in another county. I go after known projects and approach strangers but find it hard to network via family and friends for work.

Today a good friend, whose professional opinion I also value immensely, shared a link of this blog on her FB and LinkedIn accounts and said complimentary things! It was a great feeling to get a public endorsement. I wondered about the right response. Should I just leave it as a faceless link or step up and say something?

A thank you was so obviously the right thing to say and I did say it. In person, I would have said a few more things – like how it is awesome that she likes the blog enough to refer this to others, how it is incredibly encouraging for someone in the world of self-employment to have the help in increasing visibility, and how it is very thoughtful of her to use her social media network for forming true inter-connections. You get the idea.

Do you worry about how to handle social media interactions? How do you maintain the balance between creating your brand, promoting the brand and not getting crassly over-enthusiastic? Do you hold back or go all out? What are some strategies that you have admired and adopted?

I believe that being true to yourself is the only way all interactions work – personal or professional. This is true in the land of Web 2.0 as much as anywhere else.