Published on 29th Jan, 2013 in Social Media Marketing
Drawing the Line Online: Business or Personal Social Media?
What’s in a Name?One of the easiest ways to separate your personal and professional or business use of social media is to use different names for the profiles, and divide your social media use between them. For instance, if you have had a personal Twitter account as @MyNameIsJane, and you’re beginning to tweet on behalf of your company, set up a new Twitter account as @CompanyNameJane. That’s the strategy that many entrepreneurs and executives use.Just don’t forget that a search on your name is likely to link you to your company (as well as to past employers), and don’t post anything online that you don’t want associated with your professional reputation. Always make sure that you know how you are logged in, and what the privacy settings are on the account you are using. For example, if you have a personal Facebook account as well as a Facebook Page for your business (or a fan page if you are a writer, public figure, or CEO), make sure that your personal profile is set to Friends only, and limit what you post on your Facebook Page to business-related posts and images.
Who Do You Want to Be Online?The truth is that most of us can no longer truly separate our personal life from our professional life on social media. But we can decide who we want to be in our online community. As Elwood P. Dowd says in the classic film Harvey, “In this world, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant. Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.”One of the best ways to create the online personality you want is to decide how you want the world to see you, and then edit your profile information to make sure that it only has information you want your boss, coworkers, clients, colleagues, and potential investors or business partners to see. And don’t forget old profiles on sites you no longer use (like MySpace). Google never forgets, so you can’t afford to, either.This chart shows the pros and cons of different social identity strategies:
|One Profile, All Social Media Networks||Simple, easyBuilds a well-rounded online identityUpdates all your contacts at once||You might need to be more reserved about what you postYou might inadvertently give too much information to professional contacts|
|Separate Personal & Professional Profiles||Helps with work-life boundariesLess fear of colleagues or boss seeing details you might not want to shareMessages on each accounts are more relevant to different sets of contacts||Tricky to maintain – be vigilant about what account you are posting toHarder to see or share contacts across accounts|
|Use Separate Services for Different Purposes||Same benefits as having separate accounts on each network, but a bit less confusing||Harder to share or see updates across all your contactsTakes longer to manage|