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Balancing Personal and Professional Social Media

Balancing personal and professional social media

If you’re looking to promote your brand, social media has some good and bad points to it. If you execute your marketing strategy properly, you reach your target audience in new and exciting ways. This can bring you a lot of success. However, if you don’t use social media properly, it can actually mess with your business’ success. Reputations can be ruined and sometimes, this can’t be fixed. Some people’s careers have been destroyed by a few tweets that weren’t well thought out.

However, it’s one heck of an ocean of opportunity out there. With more than 3.5 billion people using social media all over the world, you want to tap into that. Using social media for your business isn’t always easy. It’s a real balance to use it for both your personal and professional life. Sometimes they overlap each other. There hasn’t been much talk on boundaries in this regard, but it’s fairly important to create them. Spending so much time online can seriously overload you, and it can lead to burnout.

You need social media, but you also have to know when enough is enough.

The Tools of Social Media

Many people may choose not to use personal social media. This could be for privacy reasons or they just don’t want to get attached to it all. There are a lot of great tools on offer when you use personal Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. You don’t want to sacrifice your personal digital presence to save your career. 

There are several personal benefits to social media. One is maintaining and developing personal relationships with people that live far away. It’s easy to quickly send someone a message on your social networks. It is also a convenient method of communication.

You can build new connections based on the social circles you’re in. You’re also able to keep up with all the latest news worldwide and within your friend circles. Then there is the fact that you can find out new brands, artists, and special offers.

But there are some disadvantages of using social media. One is not knowing how to separate your professional and personal use when on social media. It’s easy to get distracted and spend too much time on one or the other. You may also get your wires crossed on what message you want to send on your professional account.

The dilemma of having one of your professional contacts asking to be friends with you on your personal account. This is a bit of a situation. You don’t want to ignore them or deny them and yet, you don’t want them to be connecting with you on a level of friendship. Know this, you should not connect with them on a personal level. Chances are, you’re not going to be truly friends, and you’ve lost that professional connection.

Blurred Social Media Boundaries

When you don’t have a clear definition of personal and business, you can damage professional relationships. If you make a personal connection on social media with a client, they’ll see you as a friend or personal contact as opposed to a business connection. This changes their mindset on what you can offer them. It has the potential to damage your credibility, and inappropriate relationships can result.

People are fickle. They may decide they don’t like you and that means they no longer like your business. We don’t all have the gift to connect well with the public. Your posts can offend someone, as everyone has their own strong outlook on life. If you are letting customers become friends, consider that you’re always on the clock, so your personal account shouldn’t reflect your personal views anymore.

Sexual Harassment

A reported 49 percent of women said they were sexually harassed by male customers on social media. When you open up your social media account to customers, you may be at risk of falling victim to a myriad of scary things. It’s easy for people to find your personal information through things like Facebook. They may be able to figure out where you live and work. This can put you at risk. Staying behind your business account on social media is one way of keeping you safe.

Damage to Your Credibility

Let’s face it, we’re going to be much more relaxed about what we post on our personal accounts. We might have had a wild night out or have a political view we post. This is your right on your personal account, but if your customers have access to it, you could lose credibility and business. Be who you are and say what you want, but don’t let your customers have free access to it.

3 Tips to Avoid Damaging Your Professional Reputation

To avoid crossing any lines, here are some tips. There have been a lot of people who have lost their jobs and destroyed their thriving careers just by saying the wrong thing on social media. There is this movement right now where people are going out of their way to erase people at the top of their game. If you’re popular, you’re at risk. That is the sad reality. So do all you can to keep your professional page totally on point. Keep your private page private, and know where to draw the line between friends and customers.

Use Caution When Posting about Work

  • Any business-related content about new clients or projects might be taken up badly. You want to honor your business contacts privacy at all costs. Never post anything that was said in a private meeting by anyone you work with. When there is a closed door meeting, this is emphasizing that no information should leave the room. Certainly, it shouldn’t be posted for everyone to see in your profile. You’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot. It goes without saying that you should never vent your frustrations about customers, colleagues, or the workplace. This is not professional, and it could get you in a lot of trouble. You will simply not be seen in a good light, and your reputation could be damaged. Also, imagine the kind of issues you might face if your colleagues happen to see your post.

Don’t Post Publicly During Your Work Day

  • Even if you’re the boss, posting during work hours could get noticed. If you’re a manager or business owner, you’re letting your staff know that it’s fine to personally post things on Facebook while at work. Clients can also see your posts, and they may think you’re not really working for them. Obviously, it depends on the kind of services or products you offer.

Avoid Anything Offensive

  • There are many ways you can offend people. You might think that a meme or joke is really funny but if it’s in any way racist, sexist, or LGBTQ+ phobic, your followers may be deeply offended. It’s important to always have a sense of compassion for your public. This is what brings you a great customer base. If you offend people for who they are, you might as well shut down shop.
  • If you’re going to let professional contacts into your personal world online, you’re going to have to be really careful about how you conduct yourself. These helpful hints should allow you to create a likeable character online that will help and not hurt your business. We still recommend that you consider only allowing your friends into your personal account. However, if you intermingle the two, be mindful that you’re selling yourself to a degree all the time.
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Loraine Couturier
Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at https://www.facebook.com/jetsetwritingchick

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Staff writer: Loraine Couturier is a jet set writing chick from Canada that travels around the globe. Her writing and marketing skills are what keeps her eating exotic meals and jumping on planes. Loraine loves writing about pretty much anything and likes to pass on the knowledge she has to others. Visit her at https://www.facebook.com/jetsetwritingchick

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