There is an ongoing debate among communication professionals about how to use social media in their personal and professional lives.
There are two schools of thought when it comes to having business and personal social media profiles. One side believes that there should be no division between your personal and professional life online, while the other side believes that they should never be mixed. These positions straddle the line between being credible and being an effective social media marketer.
The Do-It-All-In-One Side
People who believe in having only one profile think that who you are personally should be who you are professionally — making multiple profiles redundant. My friend and colleague Jack Giesen is a great example of this. Anyone who follows her on twitter knows that her content is a mix of geek updates and PR commentary. For Jack, having one profile is not only more efficient (fewer profiles to monitor), but also gives potential employers a more well-rounded look at her personality. It shows her passion and dedication is not limited to one subject, and that she has a rich personal life. I have another colleague however, who insists on updating and checking in on social media while at bars and other non-professional venues. Such content, while entertaining, doesn’t always help or encourage serious professional conversation or brand management.
The Separate-Is-Always-Best Side
The other side believes that personal and professional updates should be kept completely separate. They believe that a professional profile is just that — professional and that there is no room for personal details. You wouldn’t talk about what you had for breakfast and how cute your dog is in an interview, so why would you talk about that on your professional social media profile? Social media is for promoting a brand, creating dialogue on business topics and creating business content for your followers to consume. A professional social media profile shows your audience that you are a credible and reliable source of information. The people who only show their professional selves however, risk losing followers because they appear boring, fake or uninteresting.
For the Rest Of Us
I remain in between. I do have two twitter accounts, (only one of which I will share here Follow Me!) but I update my professional account with both personal and professional content. This way I can show who I am without constantly flooding my follower’s feeds with never ending personal retweets. This also allows me to focus on work-based social media when I’m working (which is always), and personal social media when I’m not (apologies to my personal twitter followers who don’t get to see me very much!)
What do you think? Do you have multiple social media profiles or just one?