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Social and Digital Body Language: 105 Factors Impacting Business and Personal Brands


When you think of leaving memorable brand impressions what comes to mind? Do you first think of a logo, colors, messaging, tone, sentiment or all of the above? None of the above?

Even the best business leaders and marketers get overwhelmed with staying up to speed with new media, social media and integrating it into the DNA of their business.

We work with brands of all sizes from startups to Fortune 100 enterprise organizations. One thing we find true across the board is that marketing and business leaders today are still getting caught up in traditional marketing and communication.

During the overwhelm phase many business leaders tend to get so caught up in learning tools and technology that they are not realizing the brand impressions they are leaving both positive and negative that have nothing to do with what you might typically think of when it comes to brand development.

Social media is both art and science.

social media best practicesAs I have always shared with our clients, students, and loyal blog readers, social media marketing is both art and science. It is dangerous to get so caught up in the tools and technology that you lose sight of why you are doing it in the first place.

Achieving real results with social media requires both art and science. You must not only know the tools but most importantly you must know how to leverage the tools to drive result. You must know your audience and how you can inspire them. The tools are simply a means to help you do such.

It’s not so much about what the technology can do for you as it is what you can do with the technology!

Your Tweets are NOT your own!

online best practicesEvery time I see the words “my tweets are my own” in a Twitter or other social media bio I want to cringe. I know that for legal reasons there is sometimes a need to state such or ask your employees to add such to their bio.

However, let’s get real on this topic. If I know you or your employees are associated with a particular brand, it does not matter if you add the phrase “my tweets are my own” to your profile or not. My perception of the brand you work for is going to be impacted by not only who you are but also by your digital body language.

What is your digital body language?

photodune 6135935 hand print with mathematics s Social & Digital Body Language   105 Factors Impacting Business & Personal Brands Your digital body language is how you and your brand speaks, engages, communicates, shares information, tweets, posts to Facebook, and much more.

Just as your body language offline is one of the most important factors of human communication, your digital body language is as important online.

It is critical you know your audience and what they expect from you. Read and watch video-> 10 Things You Must Know About Your Audience

What is the image you want to portray? What is your brand promise?

What is the personality and overall architecture of your brand? Is your unspoken digital body language living up to your brand promise? If not, it might be time to revisit your social media actions and clean them up a bit.

I am seeing many social business leaders and industry thought leaders who know better start falling to some practices that result in negative digital body language.

Knowing your digital body language and consistently working to keep it in sync with your overall business and brand goals will help you stand above the crowd.

Positive digital body language will help you attract, inspire and connect with your target audience in a way that inspires and organically attracts your ideal customer and energizes them to engage with you more deeply.

The goal is to build trust and nurture relationships. If your digital body language is not helping you do such, it is likely hurting your brand more than helping.

Below are 105 factors that could be influencing your digital body language and how your audience perceives you. There are hundreds, if not thousands more of them. However, hopefully this list will get you started in thinking about the impact your online actions, not just words have on your brand.

105 Social and Digital Body Language Factors.

  1. What you say and do on the social networks.
  2. How much you talk about yourself.
  3. How much value you provide to your community.
  4. How much you help others (or don’t help them.)
  5. How many links you tweet to your own content and resources.
  6. The percentage of your content that is helpful versus selling.
  7. How you reply and engage with people you first meet online.
  8. How you reply to those who engage with you.
  9. How quick  you respond to those who engage with you.
  10. The tone of your conversations.
  11. The style of language you use.
  12. Choosing to use or not use curse words.
  13. The hashtags you use.
  14. How many hashtags you use per social media post / update.
  15. How much automation you leverage when posting social media content.
  16. How you automate posts to social media networks.
  17. The people you engage with.
  18. The brands you engage with.
  19. The influence of those you engage with. Do you only engage people with top influence scores? Or do you engage based on value and other factors?
  20. The nature and sentiment of your conversations? Positive, negative, helpful, friendly, mad, happy, confused?
  21. How humble or arrogant you are. Do you ask for help when needed?
  22. How much you talk, tweet, post, blog about others, good or bad.
  23. How easy your blog / website can be read via mobile device. Is it mobile responsive?
  24. How often you retweet content people have said about yourself.
  25. How authentic your engagement and conversations are online.
  26. How you manage social media crisis.
  27. How you manage a PR crisis and what you communicate via the social networks.
  28. How you engage on hot news topics. Do you try to hijack the news?
  29. Leveraging social listening software to ensure you are responding and servicing the needs of your audience and clients the best you can.
  30. Doing what you say you are going to do online and offline.
  31. Reading and responding to private messages on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram.
  32. How you handle trolls.
  33. How you handle controversy.
  34. How you handle negative feedback.
  35. How you handle comments on your blog.
  36. How you handle negative Facebook comments and feedback.
  37. How you engage in private Facebook, Google+, LInkedIn and other groups.
  38. The Facebook posts and content you promote and boost for increased engagement.
  39. How you leverage Facebook and other advertising.
  40. What Facebook posts you like.
  41. What Facebook posts you comment on respond to.
  42. What Facebook posts you share.
  43. The original source of the Facebook posts source you share.
  44. Who you accept as friends on Facebook.
  45. How you manage your personal Facebook page.
  46. How you manage your brand’s Facebook page.
  47. The type of content you post to Facebook. Do you constantly post valuable content or images of cats, quotes and word puzzles to increase your Facebook reach? Those cats and word puzzles could be hurting your brand more than you think.
  48. Liking a brand page and then asking for a reciprocal like.
  49. Begging for Facebook likes on other platforms such as Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.
  50. How you tweet.
  51. How often you tweet.
  52. What time of day you tweet.
  53. Who you tweet with.
  54. The tweeters you put on your Twitter lists.
  55. The tweets you favorite.
  56. The tweets you retweet.
  57. How you handle yourself in a tweet chat.
  58. How you communicate with people via Twitter direct messages.
  59. Using auto direct message features to spam your links via Twitter.
  60. Constantly retweeting people who tweet your content or say nice things about you.
  61. Constantly retweeting every tweet others tweet from your blog posts. This basically artificially inflates the number of retweets your blog posts will display in blog share bar.
  62. How complete your company LinkedIn page is.
  63. How you leverage the new LinkedIn publishing platform.
  64. How consistent your profiles and bios are across the social networks.
  65. How consistent your visual brand is across the social networks.
  66. How consistent your tone, content, engagement, visual brand is across online and offline networks.
  67. How you engage with new contacts on LinkedIn. Do you immediately sell to them?
  68. The time of day you share specific content.
  69. Loading every Instagram post with links and business speak.
  70. Taking a break or not taking a break from social media. Are you engaged talking about business 24/7, 365 days a year yet preach quality of life?
  71. How much you share about your personal life.
  72. How much your employees share about their personal life.
  73. How much you share publicly about your team and their responsibilities.
  74. How much you empower your employees publicly.
  75. How much you talk to your employees online.
  76. How much you promote your employees social and other content (blogs, social networks etc.)
  77. What type of content you write about in your blog.
  78. What type of language you use on the social networks and any content for that matter.
  79. The type of products and services you sell.
  80. The clients you serve and how you promote them publicly.
  81. The accuracy of the content on your website, blog, social profiles and content posted.
  82. The bios of your team and executives as listed on your blog, website and social networks.
  83. The bios of your employees on their personal social networks.
  84. What type of images you post to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google plus and more.
  85. Who you circle on Google+.
  86. Who you hang out with online.
  87. Respect for other’s opinions
  88. Your focus on quality or quantity when building your social network.
  89. How you  build your community and following (leveraging automation, purchased followers, advertising and promotion.)
  90. Buying fake followers and fans.
  91. Buying likes, YouTube views or blog click throughs.
  92. Content of your email nurture program.
  93. How you practice what you preach. Do you preach quality over quantity yet post spam all day?
  94. Do you preach quality over quantity yet auto tweet the same tweets 24/7 365 days a year?
  95. What tools you use to post to the social networks.
  96. If your content is obviously about you or your community?
  97. Reaching out to influencers in a spammy, unethical way.
  98. How your employees comment on blogs.
  99. How your employees communicate on the social networks when selling.
  100. How your employees communicate via web forms when reaching out to people and brands.
  101. How your employees communicate publicly on the social networks with brands and people when they are happy, mad or somewhere in the middle.
  102. The content of your email nurture campaigns.
  103. Your respect for the privacy of those who share their email address with you.
  104. How you give credit where credit is due when you learn from and leverage content owned by other brands and people.
  105. The quality of everything you say, post, tweet, pin, +1, and do online!

Your digital body language is YOU! It is how you and your employees engage. Every tweet, post and engagement is a brand impression that could last a lifetime. Make each and every impression count and be positive!

Did this list make you think?

Did you realize that maybe you are saying more to your audience than what you realized? There is much that is spoken in the online world that is not said in words, but instead via actions.

Just as with offline communication, actions speak louder than words. Be who you are and say what you feel but make sure you do it with integrity, ethics and in a way that aligns to your brand promise and desired impressions you want to leave with your loyal audiences!


Join The Conversation

  • PamMoore's picture
    Jul 29 Posted 2 years ago PamMoore

    Hi Joyce. Not sure why you deleted your comment which in turn deleted my reply calling you out as a troll. 

    For the record, here are a few details a few of my trusted colleagues found about you in just a couple Google searches. 

    1. Your profile image is a stock image, verified by Google -> http://bit.ly/1pnypVO

    2. You seem to constantly advocate for Bryan Kramer. Example-> http://www.briansolis.com/2013/12/the-100-must-follow-on-twitter-2014/ and even send tweets to Hubspot asking for Bryan to be a keynote. The list goes on. We'll skip the details but have plenty of screen captures in case you want them. 

    3.  Even though your account states you are located in Canada, it's interesting you listen to the same DJ Bryan does in San Jose, who also appears to be a buddy of his and also recent guest on his "human to human" chat. https://twitter.com/joycepilsner/status/418531856993112064

    4. Interesting that you stopped tweeting, posting and your LinkedIn account disappeared as soon as the owner of this site asked to conenct with you personally. 

    5. For a person who touted to be wanting to share "happiness" with the world, you seem to not be sharing much more than lies. 

    6. There are numerous other tweets that appear you deleted but unfortunately for you are archived on Twitter curation sites. Might want to do some brand reputation clean-up before your next round of trolling or else setup a new troll account. Looks like it's time for this version of Joyce to go night night ;) 

    Best of luck to you Joyce. Have a "happy" day! ;) 

  • PamMoore's picture
    Jul 1 Posted 3 years ago PamMoore

    Joyce - I have never seen Steve's book that you mention but will check it out. Digital body language is something I have been speaking & training on since long before social media was ever invented back in my 15+ yrs in corporate America. 

    I just did a search on Google and there were over 73.5 million results. Did a search w/ "digital body language" in quotes & there are 500k many of them long before Steve's book as well. 

    I will look into his book & if there is content I reference or feel worth quoting or including I will obviously be happy to include. 

    I am familiar w/ Bryan Kramer and his work and didn't include him on this post as it is yet one again one of those topics hundreds if not thousands of us are talking, speaking, and writing about. I am yet to see Bryan or others quote me in their work or in their books though I could point to numerous opportunities the same.

    I also consider Mark Schaefer a very good friend and am very familar with his work.  

    Not sure of your point here? 

    And why does your profile not link to a real person? Twitter link? I did a quick search on LinkedIn and only 2 names appeared, both with no profile picture? https://www.linkedin.com/vsearch/f?type=all&keywords=joyce+pilsner&orig=GLHD&rsid=&pageKey=member-home&trkInfo=tarId%3A1404246662170

  • Jun 30 Posted 3 years ago joycepilsner

    Pam, while I think this is a good list, I don't see anyone cited that has talked about this before you. In fact, the person who pioneered Digital Body Language is Steven Woods who started Eloqua and wrote this book with the same title. As well, I've seen and heard Bryan Kramer keynote on Social Body Language for years now. I first heard him keynote several years ago on this and it's also in his book Human to Human. One of my favorite interviews on this is with Bryan and Mark Schaefer on this exact topic. You should check these out.

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