Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is Your Online Presence Authentic?

Matt Lauer asked John Grisham about his Facebook page during today's interview to promote Grisham's new book, The Associate. "You've got a Facebook page as part of this book. What have you learned from that?" asked Lauer. Grisham's response was stunning: "I didn't know I had one until yesterday. I didn't set the thing up, OK? I couldn't find it if I had to."

Let's skip the fact that if Lauer was prepped to ask that question, Grisham should have been prepped with a better answer. Duh.

The other lesson here is that those of us with a social networking presence should be authentic. Grisham's Facebook page is anything but. Social networking is all about connecting with people with a common interest. It's about building relationships and establishing trust. You're wasting your time with the whole endeavor if you're not authentic. While it's no surprise to me that Grisham has nothing to do with his Facebook page, most people won't know that he is completely disconnected from this marketing effort. Will it hurt the Grisham brand when they read the post on the page titled, "John Grisham: Not Big on Facebook?" Maybe. But it sure won't help.

So be real. Be you. Be authentic.