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, you should definitely use separate social media accounts for your personal accounts and for your professional accounts. Two reasons for this:
1. Many of your social, personal friends may have no interest in your professional activities and vice versa, although there is certainly nothing wrong with the occasional cross-post between your personal and professional accounts.
2. Facebook limits you to a maximum of 5000 friends for a personal account, but an unlimited number of fans for a Facebook business page.
Excellent questions, Justin, and Jeff has given you great advice.
There is a distinct reason why you want to build a 'firewall' between your professional presence and your personal presence on social media.
Think of your professional profile as a business. In business you must build a 'firewall' between your personal brand and your business brand. You must build a 'firewall' between your personal finances and your business finances.
You do not want to mix personal and business in any capacity and you want to adhere to this discipline early in your endeavor because when you mix the two the market perception of you is you are not serious about business. You are undisciplined, you are floundering around trying to find yourself. People will be highly skeptical in working with you.
Let's say you decide along your path you want to apply for a position. Your professional presence speaks to your commitment to what you do as a professional. The interviewer will perceive you as a clear thinker.
In business a similar perception is applied.
Let's say as a professional you decide to enter a specific industry. You build your professional presence around the work you do in that industry. You are then perceived as a thought leader in that space.
Once you are clear on your direction, the facebook business page, a business Twitter account and a company page on LinkedIn are your three best social platform to use to establish your credibility. Don't forget Slideshare as a place to create a placeholder that can illustrate for you the business industry you either wish to enter or the industry you wish to dominate. Find your competitors and compare yourself to them, in a positive way, of course. "You get 'X' with my competitor but receive 'X + Y +Z' when you work with me.
The audience is then clear about you because you are clear about yourself.
Keep personal and professional separate and you will do well.
Hope this helps, Justin.
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!
I am reading through the different comments and I have a different opinion.
In 2015 companies, clients..etc are searching the web to see your profile(s), to see what content you are sharing. what are you commenting on...etc.
People have this illusion that your personal and professional profile is different. They are not. Once you put something online it is public domain. It is being cached somewhere. This can be images, text, video...etc.
The goal in 2015 is to have a profile on any social site that you wouldn't mind sharing with your potential employer, your kids...etc. Anything that you feel will hinder your reputation you shouldn't be posting.
Yes you can secure your profile which so many people will tell you to do. But I can still search to see that there is something there. Companies who find hinder profiles will question what are you hiding.
When it comes to social media here is my recommendation
80% of your content, posts...etc should be educational and soft business selling
20% of your content, posts...etc should be personal that you feel comfortable sharing with anyone.
Remember people want to get to know you, like and trust you to be able to work with you.
That is why I recommend this strategy.
I hope that helps.
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!
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.
I use a profession Facebook page and also have a personal one. On my personal one I post things about my life and on the business one I post only things going on in my line of work and other things pertaining to my work. I never post personal things on my business page, only work I'm doing or events or other peoples work I like on my business page. Hope this helps!
One word: BRANDING. Create a identity for your company that separates you from your personal social media. If you need design help, feel free to connect, Im always available to help. I myself have multiple platforms that carry my name, but my personal stuff looks nothing like my professional stuff. That way theres no confusion, especially when on your personal facebook, theres usually pics of your kids or family trip or whatever and your professional one is all Business and nothing more. Make sure youre posting relevant material that has to do with your company on your pro sites/platforms. You dont want any embarrassing posts coming back to bite you...
If you think there's a way to differentiate profiles and activity using the same name - your crazy!
If you intend to use your name or linkable moniker in the internet as part of you branding skip trying to be "private." Work the system and don't waste time trying to use services you don't own, can't control, and can get hacked as "your personal tool!" You can't - get over it, and get on with it.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
If I add any other thing, then its a waste of time...I think the first three has said it all. Good contributions.