As Finer Women, we should consider the implications of our social media activity on both our personal brand and Zeta’s brand. Let’s talk about why.
After I crossed in ’95, I remember my prophytes telling me, “No matter where you go, you are no longer “Malica”, but “Malica the Zeta”. We didn’t have Twitter in 1995 and there was no Facebook or Instagram when our founders established Zeta Phi Beta in 1920. But I believe our Founders would’ve agreed with our 16th Past International President, Soror Isabel M. Herson when she said, “Wherever I went and whatever I did, I was always aware that consciously or unconsciously someone was saying “That’s Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.”
Do you agree with Soror Herson? If so, let’s review the 5 elements that make up a finer social media profile.
- A Finer Profile Pic
What profile picture you choose really depends on your personal brand and what you want to project. What do you want people to see and believe about you (and Zeta) when they visit your social media profile? If you want to brand yourself as a finer woman of Zeta, then your profile picture might contain a clear, beautiful photo of yourself in sorority colors with your hair done and light makeup if possible. If your focus is family, then you might use a family photo. Is fitness your thing? Then you might use a picture of yourself crossing the finish line. Whatever profile photo you use, it should represent who you are (and Zeta) in finer fashion.
- A Finer Username
If your goal is to represent Zeta (or anything) in finer fashion then ZetaStripperQueen should probably be avoided as a username (get what I’m sayin’?) Whatever username or handle you choose, make sure it’s finer and in alignment with your personal brand and Zeta’s brand.
- A Finer Bio
Your social media bio, should you decide to include one, is a sentence or two that shares the best about yourself, who you are and what you do.
- Finer Associations
Be wary of who you friend online – don’t just hit the accept button. Take the time to browse a person’s profile first and try to get an idea of what they’re about (not that this gives their entire story, but it may reveal some interesting things).
- Finer Activity
Oversharing is a huge issue because so many folks treat social networks like their personal diaries. I promise you it’s not necessary (or finer) to update your status with personal business – how drunk you got at the club last night, the fight your girl got in after the club or how long your hangover lasted the next day. It’s all TMI – every single bit of it. And that dream job you were applying for? Your online activity could put that in jeopardy since many employers now conduct social media checks. Again, this all comes down to personal branding. What do you want to be known for? Based on your profile activity, what would someone who doesn’t know a thing about you conclude just by looking at your page?
I want you to have fun online Sorors and I understand that our unique personalities and interests should shine through online just as much as they do in public. Most of us wear various hats reflecting our involvement in Zeta, professionally and in our communities. It’s realistic to expect that our social media profiles will reflect our personal, professional and Zeta-related involvement as well. But this business of image and personal branding has far reaching implications, even beyond Zeta. In other words, your image is never just about YOU – and as a Zeta, you represent something much bigger than yourself.
So think twice before you upload that profile photo, post that tweet or respond to that Facebook post. Review your social media profiles on a regular basis to make sure the 5 elements are covered and if necessary, make changes to ensure you’re putting your finest self forward. Like Past International President Herson, be conscious of the fact that you are always representing THE finest sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, offline as well as online.