Blurred Lines: Your Professional and Personal Social Media Personas Are One
Is that a positive thing? Is it negative? Quite honestly, I think it’s a little bit – or maybe a lot – of both.
Like it or not, you are your brand on social media. Whether you’re a small business owner, a professional working for someone else or someone looking for a job, what you post on your personal social media accounts will, without a doubt, color how others see you professionally as well.
So what? Do you:
- …walk on eggshells and only post plain vanilla content and commentary so you never ruffle any feathers?
- …take a “devil may care” attitude, speak what’s on your mind, and say “to hell” with anyone who doesn’t like it?
Really, that’s up to you. But be aware that choice “b” will probably have consequences. Assuming that not all of your business colleagues, clients, bosses and potential employers hold the same position on issues like politics, religion (or lack thereof), gay rights, and other potentially volatile topics, you’re likely to either piss off or completely alienate people. And that could hurt your business, ax your chances of a promotion, or put you out of the running for a new job.
I’ve focused on the extremes here, but I believe there are also ways to respectfully share your positions on certain topics and beliefs without appearing confrontational and exclusive. Your approach means EVERYTHING when addressing sensitive topics. If you invite civilized discussion and respond without attacking those who respectfully disagree, you stand a better chance of maintaining good will and keeping relationships intact.
Your turn to share! How do you manage the lack of divide between your personal and professional social media personas?