Blurring the lines between business life and personal life with social media.
Back before the immense growth of the internet and social media, it was never too difficult to keep your business life separated from your professional one. Intense sport and political talk was reserved for passing moments around the water cooler, and live commentary of your favorite television sitcoms were reserved specifically for whoever was in the room with you at the moment.
However, as we saw just last night following the first presidential debate, more and more people are turning to Facebook, Twitter or Google + in order to share their thoughts and opinions on everything from politics to pop culture references. And while this may a great platform to banter back and forth with friends or dive deep into the thoughts of your favorite celebrities, where should you draw the line when your business and personal social profiles are one in the same?
The main idea behind social media for business it to engage one-on-one with fans and followers, while also creating a company brand that encompasses your goals and objectives as a business. However, behind every company Twitter or Facebook account lies an employee―whether it be your CEO or head of social media marketing―with their own passions, interests and opinions. And while it is great to build a personal relationship with your followers in order to better connect with your audience, we have seen one too many times an instance of personal opinion gone wrong in terms of business marketing.
So, how can your company safely navigate this professional dilemma and correctly blur the lines between business and personal life in terms of social media? We have put together some important personal and professional tips to remember in order to get the most out of your social networking.
Decide What Is Best For Your Brand
Before creating a profile for your business, you should first decide which strategy is best suited for your company and which type of profile will work best for potential customers―professional pages vs. personal pages. If you are the face of your brand or your name is the main branding element for your company, a personal page may be the best platform to create those important personal connections with your audience.
However, in most other cases, creating a business page over a personal page on Facebook is strongly recommended because of the effective options that are available to you, such as creating Facebook pages, ads and accounts. This can even be in tandem with a personal profile if desired.
Create A Strategy That Blends The Two
Because of the many benefits that both professional and personal accounts offer, many companies choose to use both in order to spread their marketing message and connect with people within their industry. For example, Virgin has its own professionally branded profile, while their CEO, Richard Branson, still uses his own accounts to cross-brand company news while also sharing his own personal thoughts.
Maintaining a personal account on the side of your business account can also bring a certain truthfulness to the marketing equation. Consumers are constantly searching for informative, helpful information on the web from real people who offer fresh perspectives. Your personal social media accounts, along with those of your team members, can accomplish this alongside your main profile.
Speak On Issues Independently
If you do opt to balance both a personal and professional profile on social media platforms, be sure that you are speaking independently on certain sensitive matters, rather than speaking from the whole of your company. If there is disagreement on a topic that is being heavily debated by two or more sides, it is much easier to put in your two sense on your own profile, rather than reply back from a company perspective. No matter what side of the debate you may be on, you should always be aware of the implications that it could have on your business, no matter what the context may be.
Do you believe that companies should have both personal and professional social media accounts, or do believe that there is only room for one profile per company? Be sure to share your opinions with us in the comments below.