Picture your funeral. The day when close family, friends, colleagues, and people you’ve touched gather to celebrate the person you were and the life you created. Hold that thought in your mind.
What if there were no personal eulogy given? What if no one stood at the podium to tell your life story? Who you were, what you stood for, and how you impacted them?
Instead, what if only your social media posts were shared? Your Facebook Timeline, Instagram page, Snapchats, Tweets, etc. What if all people had to remember you by was your social media activity? The things you shared, liked or emotionally indicated by way of emoji, and commented on. The images, memes, stories, snaps, rants, raves, opinions, questions, discussions, etc. you created.
What would your legacy be then? YOUR DIGITAL FOOTPRINT MATTERS!
Many scientific studies and independent surveys weigh in on the negative impact social media is having on us. Everything you create, write, share, like, comment on, engage in, photograph, etc. is telling the story of you. It either has a positive impact on the world or a negative one. Which one will you choose?
Here are five things you can do to put your best digital footprint forward:
1. Think Before You Post. Before writing, posting, sharing, commenting, liking, etc., think about what that’s saying about you on a whole. Who is listening, how they will be impacted and the footprint you’ll be leaving on their wall as well as your own. In this age of “I have a right to say what I want and do what I want,” simply take a moment to think about its cause and effect.
2. Begin With The End In Mind. Use your social media as your legacy letter. I recently met a woman who specializes in writing people’s legacy letters – a beautiful leather bound memoire, if you will. “What a beautiful gift,” I thought. What a beautiful gift our social media could be as well.
3. Understand That Your Digital Footprint IS Your Brand. What you’re saying, doing, and putting out there on social media is literally creating your brand. With every like, comment, post, share, etc. you are letting people know who you are, what you stand for, what you stand against, and how you want to be remembered. You’re impacting thousands of people every day. Understand your digital footprint is how they will get to know, like, and trust you. And, if you own or lead a business, it is also how they will determine if they buy from you.
4. Be A Thought Leader Vs. A Thought Provoker. Thought leaders understand that their job is to make people think – differently, more positively, or better than they have before. They introduce new ideas, a different perspective, and a different approach. They evoke emotion versus provoke emotion. What you say, do, and share on social media should awaken and raise another’s thoughts and emotions rather than antagonize or bring them down.
5. Use Your Digital Footprint To Document. I love Gary Vee! Who doesn’t, right? He’s a strong advocate for using your social media to document or chronicle who you are, what you believe, what you think, and what you do in a way that helps others. In a way that makes a positive impact or change in the world. Stop using social media to air your dirty laundry, get people to feel sorry for you, or seek attention. Start using it to document!
Look, this all comes down to one thing: HOW YOU WANT TO BE SEEN AND REMEMBERED.
Would you be happy with your social media posts serving as your legacy today? If not, it’s never too late to begin thinking about the digital footprint you’re making and leaving behind then changing it for the better.
Wishing you love, light, and success…
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