Author and blogger, Susan Campbell Cross, joined us for #bufferchat to share about how to let your personality shine through your social media posts and blogs.

See the full recap here. And continue reading for all of Susan’s tips on being genuine, defining a voice, and more.

What does it mean to be genuine online?

From Susan:

  • Be yourself! What you post online shouldn’t be anything you wouldn’t say/share among friends offline.
  • Oscar Wilde said it best: “Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.” (& Shakespeare, “To thine own self be true.”)

More great advice:

  • “In my opinion, being genuine means being yourself no matter what the consequences, unless you’re running a brand. Be honest” @shanericka
  • “Being genuine on social media is about finding the right balance between professionalism and expressing personality.” @rebeccalouiseee
  • “Produce content that creates, establishes or compliments a community rather than marketing only yourself” @FlyingPTDigital

How would you define your voice?

From Susan:

  • What you see online is what you get off. Well, I curse more offline! Read & u’ll REALLY know me (warts & all)!
  • Try to balance being honest with not alienating/offending people. Gotta watch that if building a brand/audience!

More great advice:

  • “Combo of (past) knowledge & experience, combined with current research (& subject experts) filtered thru (strong) opinions” @jgombita
  • “An voice able to resonate with our audience that define our soul and our purpose” @makevuy
  • “A reflection of culture and values as if someone were in your office OR your own voice if a personal account.” @chmsant

What advice would you give to those working on finding their voice?

From Susan:

  • Being self = EZer said than done! I didn’t fully know self til I was in my 40’s (I share this in
  • Ask yourself before posting: If my mom or best friend read this, would she know it was me saying it?
  • Only post what you’ve read! Rookie mistake online—reposting things w/out reading them can backfire & confuse your followers.

More great advice:

  • “Your voice = your business goals + your audience + your principles and purposes (mission) coded in ‘human’ messages” @makevuy
  • “Never seek the acceptance of others in order to feel good about yourself. Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” @jaananystrom
  • “If you’re trying to “find your voice” just tweet. Eventually, you’ll find it on your own. No one can find it for you.” @alexismedina

What are some tips to let your personality shine?

From Susan:

  • Posts should reflect who you are & your message. Don’t get it when people put “RTs are not endorsements”. Why RT what you don’t agree with?
  • Balance “give people what they want” w/being yr true self. If people don’t like who that is, GET NEW PEOPLE!
  • I like me. So if other people like me 2, it’s nice! But not necessary.

More great advice:

  • “Write about what scares you. Only publish what you yourself would want to read. Take a stance and go all in. Take chances.” @aboundlessworld
  • “This will come through in how you structure your form & voice. You will know you are there when creating is like breathing.” @bukowski33
  • “Find influencers and others that share the same personality as you & share their content. Offer your expertise & opinions.” @directom


How do you help encourage others to feel comfortable being themselves on social?

bufferchat recap quote Susan Campbell Cross

From Susan:

  • I try not to judge. I don’t like everyone, & not everyone likes me. But we ALL deserve to be respected.
  • It’s fear of judgement & criticism that prevents people from being comfortable expressing themselves honestly.
  • So good to let people know you see them, you hear them, you support them, & value them.
  • Think you are weird? Remember…everyone is weird! Some people are better at hiding it is all!  You are AWESOME!

More great advice:

  • “Taking that first step is terrifying, but the more great people you meet, the better it gets.” @nlbctim
  • “Favorites, retweets and joining their conversations all send a positive message and encourage!” @lhultin
  • “1. show, don’t tell. 2. Create space for people to try it out: we’ve done it on a small scale and so far so good” @blowndes

Who are good examples of genuine, inspiring personalities to follow online?

From Susan:

More great recommendations:

Thank you so much for everyone who joined in on this great chat!

Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/noon Eastern and join our Google+ community for the latest news.

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

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Written by Nicole Miller

Community Champion at Buffer 🙂 When I’m not connecting with amazing community members, you can find me writing, reading or blogging about my urban homesteading adventures with 15 chickens, four ducks, two dogs and a horse.

  • Thank you so much for Sharing this. Nicole did it well.

    Regards Daivd

  • Eric Ngo

    Thank you for posting this! It was a great read.

  • Thanks for sharing the information. Nicole you have cleared my queries through your post. I’ll try doing it for my website

  • Malena

    I’m taking so much inspiration out of these posts. I love the advice @boundlessworld gives: “Write about what scares you. Only publish what you yourself would want to read. Take a stance and go all in. Take chances.”

    I’ve always found that the articles I was terrified to publish because they were very personal or close to my heart turned out to have the biggest and most positive response.

    – Malena

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