First of all, I absolutely love this topic. Again and again I cover this as it is a concern for lots of professionals such as you and I out there. We see that members of our target market are using social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube like crazy…but how can I get involved with social and not share all of the intimate portions of my life.
This is something that I completely understand. When I started out in social, promoting myself, I made the decision to be 100% transparent. It was hard at first, but felt very natural in the end. But I speak with people very often that enjoy hiding behind their brand and distancing themselves from social.
I am definitely placing no judgement there. For years we were able to do this but the humanization of brands is something that social sites have begun to put on fast forward. Now it seems that everything is wide open and online for all to see. BUT…this isn’t the full picture.
Over the past few years privacy laws and site updates have seen drastic changes to sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter which allow you to have lots of flexibility on how you are found, viewed and interacted with online.
But privacy aside, let me give you the real insight here. When you decide to market your company using social, you do NOT have to reveal every single personal fact about you as a person.
What I mean by this is that is:
*Facebook Page: In order to create a Facebook Page, you can do so from an account not connected with your own. While having the connection makes it easier, creating a Facebook Page account can put privacy concerns to the side. Also when using your Facebook Page account, you will always be commenting and interacting as your page, not as yourself. Add to this the plethora of privacy settings that you can add to your personal profile and Facebook Page. These are important settings that you MUST explore!
*Twitter Account: Create a Twitter account for your brand and Tweet about your company, industry and news….not anything personal. In the description you should put your name and that you are the “insert title” of “insert company” and a little about what you want to tweet about. Again….professional to the forefront and personal out of sight. Also, make sure to learn about the privacy settings and other ways to protect your account and tweets.
*LinkedIn Profile: This is a bit trickier as you will, and should, completely fill out the profile. But, there are privacy settings on here that will let you restrict what people can see. My advice though is that if you are not comfortable with networking with other professionals, I would side step LinkedIn (which, by the way, is an absolute gem when it comes to social). Also, please review the extensive privacy settings which provide lots of protection.
So as you can see, there are ways to get around things. Each site offers privacy settings that many of us didn’t know existed. We hear about the Facebook stalkers, bullying and spamming – but if you are savvy enough and look close enough, you are totally protected.
My advice? If you want to keep it professional, keep it professional. If you want to mix professional and personal….go for it. At the end of the day, the more “human” your brand is the more you will resonate with your audience. But, if you are worried about privacy and are able to humanize your brand without a face…then fair play to you.
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