I have a confession to make. I am not on Facebook, I do not Tweet and I still consider myself a marketing expert in 2011. I own a (dumb/old fashioned/flip) cell phone but I only turn it on to make phone calls. I have many friends and colleagues who think I am crazy. I love technology but I do not want it to run my life. I prefer to manage it and not the other way around.

I have had many requests from people to be my friend or follow me online over the years and I am torn between being flattered and creeped out by these requests. I have dear, old, real friends I do not spend nearly enough time with as is so creating an online profile to connect with people I meet networking just is not that appealing to me to be honest. I always find it strange when people tell me they are “online friends” with someone I happen to know quite well who they just met recently and they have this false sense of intimacy because they have seen recent vacation photos or know which Starbucks they stopped at for a latte on the way to a meeting this morning.

I can see why Shaq or Ashton Kutcher want/need to have millions of followers. If I had a book or movie coming out or wanted to sell lots of t-shirts it makes a ton of sense. From a retailers standpoint I can see the benefit of consumers checking in so you know who shops or eats/drinks at your place. LinkedIn is an efficient way to keep up with people today and figure out more about a person’s background (full disclosure a friend from college is co-founder). Every client wants help with a social media strategy today but I always warn them it is not a silver bullet. If you do not have a good business strategy, setting up a Facebook page or Twitter account is not going to help you.

For me establishing a strong brand and my online & offline reputation was critical when I started my company 9 years ago. Our work comes mostly by referral and word of mouth but also from people who have heard me speak or attended one of my workshops. If I were starting the company today I will admit I may do things differently but fortunately I was able to establish my firm when Facebook was till just for high school and college age kids.

I have a bit of a compulsive personality so I know if I went into Facebook there is a good chance I may never come out. I spend far too much time online everyday already so any excuse to be on the computer more is just not a priority for me. Also I have a unique name so if you google me you will actually find me. I’ve even had clients tell me when they first heard about me/my firm it was all such a mouthful that they searched for “Paige” and “Mavens” and thank goodness for SEO, they actually found me right away! I’m still in love with my husband after 18+ years of marriage and am not looking for any old flames so that is not much of a draw either.

To me social media is about authenticity so you have to do what feels right for you. If the Truman Show is your idea of a great movie then by all means go for it! I do not need the pressure of blogging or tweeting regularly. If you prefer to podcast, respond on other people’s blogs or be on panels (vs. give keynote speeches) then do what feels right for you. It will be a great reflection on your brand and build the kind of visibility, attention and customers you want. Creating an engaged community and strong relationships will always serve you well.

Author's Bio: 

Paige Arnof-Fenn is the founder and CEO of Mavens & Moguls (www.mavensandmoguls.com), a global marketing strategy consulting firm whose clients range from early stage start-up to Fortune 500 companies including Colgate, Virgin and The New York Times Company.