Character Congruency and Commitment In Social Media

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Social Media Skills

Chances are if you’re reading my blog you may not be a big social media player like a Chris Brogan or a Gary Vaynerchuck. (Although those guys should really read my stuff 😉 )

So if you’re not one of the two above let’s talk about some mad skills that are required to play the social media game for real.


You’re character is a critical part of your online presence. (Hell, offline too for that matter as I’ll point out)

Lots of times I’ve mentioned and clearly explained in social media equals social skills:

“How you show up in your online world will expose or promote how you show up in your offline world.”-me

I realize today this isn’t always true because there are people who show up offline completely different than how they portray themselves online.

Your character that shows up online can take on two meanings so let me clarify which one I’m focusing on and why.

  • Definition #1~ One playing the role of a persona or fictional individual
  • Definition#2 ~ The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another.

Definition #1 You’ll see people playing up characters from time to time online and in Social Media. They want to entertain and create a persona of which you associate their brand or product with. Chances are if you’re reading this, that’s not you.

Definition #2 Is where we want to focus with this post. Your character should be made up of philosophies & qualities that are consistent with your actions.

“What you say is what you do and that’s who you identify yourself as. That’s called self image.”-Me

  • In character ~Consistent with someone’s general character or behavior: behavior that was totally in character.
  • Out of character ~Inconsistent with someone’s general character or behavior

It shouldn’t be hard to act in ways that are consistent with your offline character if you’re in tune with who you are. If you’re aware of your values, self image and self awareness, congruency shouldn’t be an issue.

This is super important because you should be using social media as a media to connect offline with people. (Be it business of course we’re talking about.)

When you do meet them offline, guess what?

The REAL you will be exposed. You can’t hide behind a Twitter or Facebook profile.

Oh and guess what? The in person thing happens in real time. There’s no 5 or 10 second delay behind a Facebook chat or a Tweet to think about how you’re going to react under real world circumstances.


Congruency is:

“Agreement, harmony, conformity, or correspondence.”

Is your character congruent with your online actions & activities?

  • Where are you spending time on with your online efforts?
  • What is the intent of your online conversations?
  • What kind of conversations are you having?
  • What kind of effort are you putting forth in those conversations? (Take or give)
  • How much are you really interacting with people? (Or are you just sending out spammy link messages)

Is your efforts congruent with your character?

  • Are you spending time connecting and engaging with like minded people on Twitter or creating new relationships?
  • Are you just senselessly adding masses of friends on Facebook just to have lots of people to email in your group or fan page? Or are you targeting people who your message is specifically tailored to because they have a need or interest?
  • Are you introducing people who are like minded and may benefit one another on Linkedin or Facebook?
  • Is your message of interest and how you get it out there congruent with who you portray in your profile?

Are your profiles congruent with who YOU really are?

If you’re doing this social media thing right you’ll end up meeting people offline and if they haven’t already figured out what your real intent is or who you are before they meet you, they damn sure will once they do meet you.


Once you’ve gotten clear on your message and you know it’s in line with your character you can be congruent with your actions and offers.

You’ll stay committed to the course and you won’t have issues getting tripped up with trying to keep track with what you say you’re about from now on. I’ve had close friends tell me about people they’ve experienced online as shady, shysters or just flat out scoundrels.

These people hurt their reputation, their brand and their overall reach and impact on people big time. (6 degrees of separation is more like 3 degrees online)

Maybe you’re just starting out in this online thing and you’re not sure where to start. Or maybe you’ve started and you’re realizing your message isn’t quite clear and your actions are exactly defined either.

I know about this stuff because I’m figuring all of it out myself right now. (No I’m not shady or a shyster) I’m just transforming my message and my brand as we speak and realizing there were some things that weren’t congruent with who I’ve uncovered at this time.

The whole suit & tie thing?

  • Not me.

The whole I’m squeaking clean thing?

  • Not me either.

I’m realizing that my commitment to my message online long term relies on gaining clarity about who I am and what I’m about offline.

When you’re all alone with yourself, who is that person?

Be Expressive, be congruent and be yourself.

You’ll waste a lot less energy and relationships if you do.

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