Tapping back into My Kitchen Sync

"MyKitchenSync!! Where have you been?" A seemingly silly question the other night from someone who, like me, spends an inordinate amount of time reaching out and building communities on social media. They even joked that I might have left the country. Whoa! For a guy who is ALWAYS connecting on social media, this was certainly a wake up call.

The irony of course is that just as I took up my exciting new role as Social Business Manager at BaxterStorey, my own personal social presence dropped off the radar for longer than I had anticipated. 

One of the key reasons for this was to do with focus. On the 3rd of February this year I was handed an iPhone for my job and some passwords. As I logged in to take a look under the hood (dashboards, stats etc.), the reality of tweeting out as our company brand began to weigh on my mind. "OK.... where do I start? What do I say? Who am I talking to?" Answering these questions was going to help me find that tone and voice that would bring the brand to life in an authentic, professional and relevant way. I also wanted to ensure we displayed a sense of fun and personality. A tall order perhaps.

With so many different stories, perspectives and audience stakeholders, I knew the only way for me to create an authentic brand persona was to immerse myelf fully in our conversation on Twitter (and other channels, but Twitter is acutely 'in the moment'). This consequently meant that my own personal brand (known as MyKitchenSync to most people outside Facebook) was left to wither on the vine somewhat. 

Anyone who knows me will know that running is very therapeutic for me, and I had been giving this some real reflection to understand the bigger picture. Here's how I see it...

Running allows me to reflect, recharge and re-focus. Like this chap... #nikeplus

Many business and thought leaders will extoll the value of maintaining a good work-life balance if you are to 'go the distance' in life. And right now, I am very happy with the world we have created as a familly so we can enjoy that sense of well-being and satisfaction. 

In a virtual world however, I have found that being paid to do 'social' really challenges this principle in a complex way. The very nature of being on social means developing an actively expressive personal brand, a sort of 'shop window' for your personality if you will, through which many people see and interact with you online. 

The dilemma comes when you open up a second 'shop window' to showcase that business brand you are paid to represent. Now you have the dilemma of two windows showcasing two narratives to two audiences. The question is, where does one end and the other begin? This conundrum was a real challenge for me at the outset, so I decided to just focus on the business one until I got that right and worry about the juggling later.

Over time, my tweeting and writing as and for the BaxterStorey brand has become almost second nature and this has alowed me to work towards finding that 'virtual work - life balance' specifically in relation to my social presence.

So here I am back in MyKitchenSync and commiting a few words of personal introspection to make up for the long absence.  Over the next few weeks I am hoping to share a few thoughts and perspectives just to reconnect with my personal community on social. It's time to start separating out my own worldview, away from the work persona that I passionately live and breathe every day.

If I get it right, then 'MyKitchenSync' reconnects with a hugely important community in my life. If I get it wrong however, then learning from those possible missteps will help me put a case study into my training workshops for others to learn from. 

Not giving it a go however, would be the biggest mistake of all since you are defined by your community. This is true in business, in play and in life. What does your community say about you?

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