Here’s the thing: Social media is now part of our everyday lives. If social media is all or part of your professional role, your online presence is going to be intermingled.
But never fear. Balance is possible–a little imperfect, but possible. You’ll have to make choices and judgment calls about what to say and how to say it, and sometimes, that might mean biting your tongue.
Here are a few guidelines for keeping your personal and professional presence online in perfect harmony:
Remember Who You Represent
If you work or intern in social media, you’ll figure out where your clients and customers are and where they’re reaching out to you. Sometimes, you can use a single profile to communicate with them — if you’re willing to keep the filter on. But watch out — that might mean keeping the controversial political or religious conversations to yourself, or exercising good diplomacy. It’s a choice. You’ll also have to decide where and when you’ll keep the doors open for people to follow or friend you on a professional and/or personal basis.
It’s Okay to Not Talk About Work
It’s OK to not be a work robot 24/7. In fact, sometimes it’s even better not to talk about work. The people who interact with you professionally often appreciate seeing the “human” side of you. You want your customers and clients to feel welcome when they talk with you. Share pictures of your pets or friends if you’d like. Talk about music you listen to or other hobbies. A good mix of personal and work-related stuff can help you feel more approachable and friendly. People will be likelier to reach out to you. That helps build trust, which is definitely what you want.
Welcome Everyone & Be Approachable
In a professional job or setting, you’re often on the front lines — the face of the company or even your own personal brand. If you’re not in social media as a profession but it’s part of your job, you’ll still need to be present, available, friendly, and findable. You want people to come to you every bit as much as you’d want them to feel free to approach you.
What challenges do you have balancing personal and professional when you engage online?