Social Media- Personal or Professional?
Although social media started out as strictly a personal affair, it has since grown into the pervasive force we know today. No longer is social media just for personal use- professionals have taken to social networks in droves, changing the landscape considerably.
Now, we must ask ourselves where we want to draw the line with our own social media accounts. Do we want to use them solely for our friends and family, or do we want to bring in our professional worlds? It is a question worth asking, because there are ramifications of combining the personal and the professional worlds that you must consider before deciding where you stand on the matter.
Here are some things to consider about your social networks:
Ask yourself if your professional life and your personal life are already intertwined. If so, you shouldn’t worry too much about combining your accounts because you probably aren’t posting anything that would damage your reputation anyways. Social networks can probably handle anything you say for a wide audience.
You can always have more than one account on a network. This being said, there are some downsides to having separate accounts for your personal circle and your professional circle. You will have to spend twice as much time keeping up with your online social life, and you will have to spend twice as much effort to stay on top of it all. In addition, your audience will be cut in half every time you post something, which reduces the likelihood that somebody will share your content with others.
If you’re going to combine accounts, watch what you post. Many people like to use social networks as a place to rant when they’re frustrated. We like to share our personal opinions and musings that may not be 100% agreeable to people outside our personal circles. If you are going to combine your personal network with your professional network, be careful not to post anything offensive because it could put your career at stake.
Social networks no longer a place where anything goes. Do you combine your professional life and your personal life on social media? If you have a word of advice or a story on this topic, we’d love to hear it!
Written by Erika Taylor Montgomery