TL;DR – Winning hearts, one resident at a time.
Earlier this month, PAP MP Dr Koh Poh Koon showed us how NOT to use social media.
In contrast to what Dr Koh did, his fellow PAP MP Joan Pereira has shown us how you can use social media to win hearts:
What’s the first thing that you noticed? That’s right. You can’t see Ms Pereira. She’s not in any of the two photos. Instead, you just see her residents, the people she’s commending.
And how do we know that her intent of the post is to commend people? Well… she has a thesis statement! This is the first line of her post,
“I wish to share about this instance of great community spirit and friendship.”
And then most of the post went into greater details of what the residents did to better explain why that was an “instance of great community spirit and friendship”.
In her entire post, the only hint that she was involved was this one small little line:
“Another kind uncle on a motorised wheelchair lent us his charger”
Unless you were paying close attention, you wouldn’t even have noticed that mentioned an “us”, which presumably included Ms Pereira.
Why does this matter? Two reasons.
1. Get your message across properly
Dr Koh’s supposedly intended message got lost when he hijacked his own post. Compare that to Ms Pereira’s post. Yes. There will be cynical people who will say that Ms Pereira is also being wayang with her post. But most people seeing her post will probably find it a heartwarming post that reminds them that community spirit is still very much alive in Singapore. And her post may actually inspire them to do a bit more good and be that bit kinder to one another.
2. Shape what people think of you
Also, after reading Dr Koh’s post, most people would get the impression that his true intention was to be the focus of the post, the star of the story. This makes people think that he has a very self-centered starting point.
On the other hand, Ms Pereira’s post gives people the impression that she’s a giver. Because she gave herself an almost invisible, non-existent role in her post, it makes people think that her instinct is to think of other people first and not herself.
Using social media is an art
These two contrasting posts show that social media is a double-edged sword. If used well, like what Ms Pereira did, it can help with your personal branding. And it can also go a long way in furthering a cause.
But it can, as easily, put you in a very negative light like what happened to Dr Koh.
So if you want to use social media to create a good personal brand, consider how your message will be received by your audience before you post anything. Think through what photos to use, choose your words carefully. A good place to start is to view things from the readers’ point of view.
If in doubt, look at these two posts. They make great examples of case study. If your posts look more like Dr Koh’s, you might want to think twice about posting. If your posts look more like Ms Pereira’s, chances are you are heading in the right direction.