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Balancing Your Personal And Professional Social Media Presence

One primary goal of developing a strong social media presence is to gain broad exposure across multiple audiences. Visibility is crucial for your professional life. However, too much visibility into your personal life may be hindering your business. Or it can hurt it so bad that it can’t recover.

Putting all your business on social media might be useful for marketing. It humanizes your brand, creates brand awareness, increases sales, and more. But your personal life should be a bit more reserved when it comes to the general public. Many people can overshare on social media. This can cause followers to raise an eyebrow, or unsubscribe from your social media account altogether. If you haven’t separated your professional social media channels from your personal, you may be letting your customers in on insights. Some of these insights may be things that customers don’t appreciate — and this can spill over into your business reputation.

Just as in life, it is vital to distinguish your business life from your personal when it comes to social media. Many people don’t understand how to make this distinction, or why it needs to be made. Read below to find out how you can separate your professional and personal social media life, and what can happen if you don’t.

Social Media For Business

Your social media campaign should show some personality, but it should just show your brand’s personality, not yours personally. Customers can interpret many of your personal posts as irrelevant, and maybe even inappropriate for your business. An embarrassing or even offensive photo from someone’s own account can surface and spread like wildfire. It’s not hard to imagine how this can negatively affect your business. This can happen to you if your personal and professional social media accounts were the same.

To put plainly, there are just certain things you can do on your personal social media accounts that you simply cannot do on professional channels. A rule of thumb when posting any professional content is to always remember to protect your reputation. Whether you are just an employee or an entrepreneur and you are your own boss, your posts should still be crafted in a way that portrays your company in a professional manner. It is up to you to do so.  

Negative posts, profanity, spelling and grammar errors, and an otherwise unprofessional demeanor can be tolerated and may even work well as personal posts. However, presented as a company post, a customer may see your business as untrustworthy and careless. One comment or tweet can instantly ruin your brand’s reputation. Even if it is deleted, the damage has been done. Adopting professional practices for your company’s social media posts are essential for the character of your brand.

Social Media For Personal Use

Your personal social media account is important for staying in touch with friends, family, and networking with people who have similar interests. Furthermore, all of these people may live far away. This communication is the very nature of social media, and your personal account is yours to use as you see fit. That being said, many people tend to forget that their information can be traced back to their place of employment. Sometimes, may be posting content deemed unsuitable for its customers.

On a personal social media account, it is up to you to govern what you post. But if you have recorded your place of work on your own social media account, or if it is the same account, it is imperative you keep your company values in mind. In many cases, it is wise to have entirely separate social media accounts for your personal and professional lives. When someone writes a post in poor taste on their personal account, it is them who will deal with the repercussions.

If you write an inconsiderate post on a professional account or your personal account that can easily be traced to your professional account, then your company will take the heat. And, to regain their reputation, that may mean firing you. Or, a really poor post can lead your company to experience boycotts, and ultimately force you out of business. Your personal social media account is essential for your freedom of expression. However, post at your own risk and it is advised that you use sound judgment.

When Professional And Personal Social Media Lives Mix

In many cases, your personal life is your business. An artist, blogger, and many entrepreneurs will need to juggle their personal and professional life on social media. If you cannot separate your social media accounts (which is highly suggested), or you don’t have the time to keep up with both, consider the recommendations above and take some precautionary measures.

Pay particular attention to the “friends” you accept on a personal level, for instance. Many people make fake accounts to spy on your professional account. In this case, If you are careless with your personal data, this can be a nightmare for you professionally. As always, if you are questioning the appropriateness of a post, it is always prudent to err on the professional side of things. You may need to rethink or scrap it for a more refined approach.

The benefits of social media are far too significant for you to not take advantage of them. The unfortunate truth, however, is that if you do let your audience in on your personal or professional lives, one errant post can be your downfall. Your business can live or die by social media. Knowing how to stay professional — even in your personal posts — can make sure you stay on the right path when balancing your two social media lives.

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Desmond Rhodes

Desmond Rhodes is somewhat of a digital nomad who specializes in Social Media and Big Data. You can usually find him writing on these subjects, playing a video game, or playing music.

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