How can I distinguish a professional social media presence from my personal one?
Should I create a new account for Facebook, Twitter, etc.? I'm embarking on a new freelance writing/blogging career, and I'm just looking for some help getting started. I know how important social media is, and I want to make sure I do it right. Thank you, all!
Yes! No different than what Actors do or a lot of Writer's do. It allows you the separate your public persona from your private persona. I believe that is a healthy way to proceed for the type of professional pursue you are in, career wise.
Is your name your business brand or do you have a different company name? If your name is the brand than possibly difficult to separate personal from professional social networking unless you use a pseudoname for one.
People do business with people Linkedin is where (I definitely) and a lot of people go to find out about the person they may potentially want to do business with. It's a professional network therefore use it professionally but also making your personality shine through -it's just about finding the right balance.
With twitter you can have several different accounts and they're easy to manage if you use an app like QuickTweet. I can easily switch from one account to another including tweeting on the go from my mobile.
Similarly with facebook. Keep your personal profile separate with your business page. You can say what you like on your personal profile and only your friends, family etc can see this. You shouldn't be tempted to accept friend requests from casual business acquaintances whom you don't want to see your personal chatter which won't present a professional image.
With Google+ it's difficult to separate personal from the professional. My contacts find me by my name and not many are tempted to follow my company page on G+. I therefore only share information that I am happy for all to see, both on business and personal terms.
Justin, You have already received many streams of good advice. I believe the one that is important to note is that anything you post online, personal or professional can be discovered. Privacy is a myth. That being said, your marketing strategy should be one that you control what and where you post. Recently a business professional I know posted something unprofessionally bigoted on his personal page thinking some of his friends might find it funny and the rest who didn't, he thought would "agree to disagree". Unfortunately one of those friends who disagreed, shared his comment publicly and he had to close his social media presence because of the backlash.
On the other hand, many people lose the extra benefits your profile can provide, when you understand Facebook's "follow" dynamic. When you add someone as a friend, you automatically follow that person, and they automatically follow you. This means you may see each other's posts in your News Feeds. When you follow someone who you're not friends with, you'll see posts that they've shared publicly in your News Feed. This also means that people that find your private profile can follow you unless your privacy settings disallow. The advantage of having followers, is that they see your posts on their News Feeds and can share them with their friends. If you start running ads, this is very helpful. You can separate your posts by lists or groups.
When you start joining groups for the purpose of networking and marketing, groups only allow profiles not pages to join the group. So if your profile is personal, your ability to use the group to gain marketing juice is limited. Another marketing tool is when you have an email list of customers and prospects, you can upload that email list and create Custom Audiences and reach more people. You can create events from your Profile, but not your Page.
When you create your marketing strategy, it's helpful to take all these things into consideration. Set up your social media presence for your best marketing/branding.
Wishing you awesome and continuing success.
Justin. Great question. I had a similar question when I first started out in 2007.
Facebook: I have a personal page and a professional page. Jeff Zweig (top answer on this thread) explains the reasoning perfectly.
Twitter: I started out with two - one for me, one for my business. That said, in the words of Popeye the Sailor, "I am who I and and that's all that I am". So, i'm @VinceFowler on twitter and I don't use my "business coaching" company twitter handle any more. I have a second Twitter handle for @TMDyyc (my version of TED Talks for Small Business). This is a separate Twitter account because TMD is bigger than me, it's a community.
Justin, you said you were going to be embarking on freelance writing and blogging? In your case it makes perfect sense to have two Facebook accounts (one personal, one professional), but then just one Twitter, and Instagram account.
Examples of people in your industry. Jon Acuff @JonAcuff. Jenna Dalton @DaltonJenna. Jeffrey Gitomer @Gitomer
Enjoy the journey.
PS: I don't charge extra for spelling mistakes - they're my gift to you.
Don't ever fool yourself to think your personal social media accounts will never be seen by a potential or current client. While I have strong political & religious views, you'll never see any of them on social media. You can have a photo with a cocktail on your personal page but skip the keg stand at the Grateful Dead concert. I have both personal and business pages. But I get business from both.
For Facebook, you can create a "fan page" (not a new account) and set it up completely aligned to your professional brand, link it to your website (which you should have for your portfolio), and use it as a full-out professional property. It's ok if your "brand" is yourself, as long as you treat your fan page and your personal presence as separate entities. The only real "link" between your professional fan page and your personal account is that you'll use your personal account to login & manage your professional fan page. As far as twitter, you could create a new account completely aligned to your new professional freelancing brand.
Hope this helps!
Hi Justin, the answer depends upon several criteria including which social networks you're already using and how you're currently using them. LinkedIn for instance is a professional social network only, so one account is sufficient. With Twitter, you would need a separate account for personal and professional life, but be wary that trying to post from two separate accounts brings it's own challenges - it's very easy to accidentally post from the wrong one to the wrong audience. Also look beyond the usual networks that you're using socially; take a look at LinkedIn (as mentioned), Tumblr is worth a look too. Additionally if you are working lots of imagery into your writing then you could expand further into other channels such as Pinterest and Instagram - simplistically, it's horses-for-courses. Finally, one thing to bear in mind is if you start to fully embrace your new (professional) life and immerse yourself in it 24/7 - as many do - then you will start to appreciate the relevance and importance of becoming "a brand" in your own right. Ironically as brand "YOU" becomes ever more prominent and you become ever more successful, your professional life and personal life may well blur into one single entity, and at such a point a single social account will likely be more than enough to handle!
Justin, my question is: what is your blog going to be about? That's the most important question you have to answer. Is the content which you are intending to share valuable for your personal contacts as well? Is it niche orientated very specific, topical? If you are blogging about your personal style for example, I would definately go for joining your personal and professional presence for better transparency. If you are highly skilled professional and you are sharing your knowledge, linking your personal account might add some authenticity to you as a brand. Like some of the voices are saying: don't think that you can hide and totally distinguish your accounts. If your reader wants to find out who you really are, he will and then it might be a bit of a surprise when for example personal trainer macho type has pink bed and tiny kitten on his lap on his perosnal wall. Authenticity is the key word here. Whatever you are intending to do, be you.
I agree with the advice to have separate profiles for your business activities, with one caveat; functionally, there is no "firewall" between what you post personally and professionally in social media. Just ask any one of the bazillions of people who have been fired from their jobs for things they tweeted or posted from personal accounts. I think it's good to have a clear divide between your personal and business activities--especially if you're going to do a lot of promotion--but ultimately you'll stand or fall based on your social media presence as a whole.
Hi Justin! Since you are looking to distinguish (or establish) your "professional" social media presence, I would recommend creating a LinkedIn account. This is where professionals can network, show their expertise, discuss relevant topics and bounce ideas around with other like-minded professionals. It's not like Facebook or Twitter where you will see what someone had for lunch today, or pictures from a day at the beach. You can maintain both your professional and personal social media presences in their respective social media spaces.
All the best!