The veil between your personal and professional life on social media is growing thinner by the day – but that’s no reason to avoid social media altogether. Sure, there’s a lot of risk in trying to balance your true personality with your more professional side, but let’s face it: sooner or later, the people who follow you on Twitter will find your LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram accounts, so there’s no point in trying to keep those worlds separate.
After all, social media is your tool to engage with your audience, so why hide from it? We do business with people, and communicating from both a personal and professional standpoint allows clients and employers to get to know you – the real you.
Fortunately, there are ways to balance both your personal and professional brand online. Here are my top three tips for managing your online identity:
- Be true to yourself, but remain professional. This rings especially true for those who don’t have separate accounts for personal and professional functions. Your online identity should be who you really are, but you should never cross the line between sharing yourself and sharing too much of yourself.
- Know your audience. Depending on who follows you – and how strict your privacy settings are – you can become more personal on different accounts. For example, if your Facebook or Twitter is confined to family and friends, you’re allowed a little more wiggle room for discussing your personal life. But if your accounts are public and easily accessible by potential employers or clients, keep that in mind when posting.
- Manage your privacy settings. If you’re like me and you don’t have professional and personal accounts on all your social media networks, you should look into your privacy settings. Facebook and Google+ allow you to silo your contacts into different groups or circles, and you can post updates that are visible to – or hidden from – those groups.
Tell us – how do you manage your online identity?