personal and professional in social media

Whoops! I’m Two People on Facebook

By Communications

Do you have two profiles on Facebook? If you do, your intention was probably to have a “professional” profile and a “personal” one.

Guess what? This is what you’ve done instead: you have given others reason to have the following reactions:

  1. In a search, they are unsure which one of you to connect with — are you friends or professional contacts? Whose decision is that?
  2. Hey! I thought we were friends! Why now are you shifting me over to your “business” self?
  3. What are you up to personally that you feel like you need a totally different profile to protect your “private” self?
  4. You really don’t understand Facebook, do you?

None of the reactions others have to you and your dual Facebook personalities are positive, are they? Furthermore, why on earth do you want to complicate your life by having to manage two different profiles?

You’re also making yourself vulnerable by violating Facebook’s terms of service — you know, that thing you clicked YES to and never actually read? Here’s a section:

See that part about not creating more than one account? If you end up having a hacking problem or other security breach, you’re going to have a really tough time getting anyone at Facebook to help you if you’ve violated any of these items. Just sayin’.

How to Stop Being Two People on Facebook

You’re going to have to deactivate one of your personalities. More than likely, its the newer one, the one you decided to create for a more “professional” appearance. Log in to that account.

Go to Account –> Account Settings –> Deactivate Account.

Now, I understand that you still have this conflict; that there are parts of your life you want to share with friends but not necessarily colleagues or business prospects. The way to manage that is with lists.

This will help: How to Create Lists, Save Some Privacy on Facebook in Five Easy Steps.

Really! Do it today!

Read this, too: My friend Michelle (Golden) Rivers has a great post on this topic as well — Managing Your “Private Life on Facebook While Developing Business.

Lost in Translation: How Social Media Tenets Got Dropped Between Personal and Professional Use

By Social Media

I’ve been talking and writing a lot lately (here, and here, and here) about ways that businesses have dropped the ball using social media. Two major venues in my community have missed significant opportunities to manage their reputations, particularly on Facebook, in the last week. Both rely on fourth quarter revenues to, in some cases, make their year. One is a shopping mall, the other, a movie theater; both totally consumer-facing and consumer-dependent businesses.

There are three main attributes of social media that seem have to been misunderstood or left out completely when the use of social media transferred from personal to professional use.


  1. Social media’s strength is built on personal relationships; a business must also have a personal face and identified human beings behind the brand with which we (consumers) build relationships. No one builds a relationship with a logo.
  2. Transparency, availability and responsiveness are what have made individuals superstars in the social space. Those affiliated with a brand or organization have done that brand a great service by acting on their behalf in a public way. Even when the chips are down, and the face of the company is the one to take ownership of an issue, a name and a face acting on behalf of a company is much more respected and welcome than the nameless, faceless corporate messaging.
  3. The difference between social and mass media is that social media represents TWO-WAY CONVERSATION. In the age of mass media, such a thing didn’t exist. To treat social media as if it were mass media, by only broadcasting deals, offers, promotions and other self-serving content, is a sadly misinformed approach. Asking customers what they want, welcoming feedback and interacting with the public in the social space is the RIGHT WAY to manage your professional social presence. Always.

I think the reason why businesses have handled the transition to social integration so poorly is a lack of education and understanding of the tools and how they should be used. In some cases it’s arrogance, in others it’s the blind leading the blind.

I see a couple of scenarios; in one, businesses put a person in charge of social media who only knows how to use it personally. This is common when social strategy is left to the youngest person in the marketing department, or the digital native who has been using social media personally since she was a kid. Those skills do not automatically translate; just because a person knows how to write doesn’t mean they know how to write a communications plan. In the second scenario, businesses are doing what they see others doing, copying it or modeling the same online behavior, WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IF ITS THE RIGHT APPROACH OR STRATEGY.

Of course both of these situations make me crazy. I hate to see any business, particularly small business, spending time or money without strategy, or not taking advantage of tools at their disposal, or seeking knowledge before diving in to marketing techniques they barely comprehend.

The public, particularly the users of social media, understand the difference and are quick to point out when companies are not following the rules of social media. They demand the kind of interaction they get personally from friends, even from a corporate level. It’s all personal to the consumer, and because of that, and the nature of the social space, all social strategy demands a personal approach.

Don’t Wait Till You’re Job Hunting to Engage on LinkedIn

By Communications

I have a new client (let us all take a moment for the celebratory happy dance). Part of what I will do for this client and for any client I work with is to help manage the client’s online reputation.

What does that mean? I am doing an audit of the client’s online presence and providing recommendations for updates to key elements, such as the client’s LinkedIn profile and bios. In addition, I identify opportunities to enhance that reputation. Is there an opportunity for blogging or contributing articles to key industry publications? Are there speaking opportunities? Could there be recommendations available from colleagues or customers? This is all part of giving the client an intentional path to follow in the effort to reach their personal and professional goals.

We were talking specifically about LinkedIn yesterday. I often hear that people don’t think of LinkedIn until they’re job hunting. Whole books have been written on the importance of a social network when you’re looking to make a career move.

I, however, encourage clients (and everyone, in fact) not to wait till you’re desperately seeking a new position. The time to expand your social network, manage how you appear online and take steps toward realizing your best professional self is now. Today.

What will you do today on your intentional path?