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Managing Social Media Accounts: Business vs Personal

Today, we are going to look at social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn and ask the question: Should you mix business and pleasure?

This is a seemingly simple question but may contribute to the success, or failure, of your social media strategy.

Social Media: Mixing Business and Pleasure

Let’s start out this discussion by way of example. This morning, I have two things on my mind: setting my work agenda for the week and commenting with like minds about what happened on Madmen (one of my favorite shows) last night.

Since the topic today is mixing business and pleasure on social media accounts, and asking ourselves “is it a good idea?”, we can run with this example and ask the question:

Do my business social contacts really want to know that I watched MadMen last night?

In an entertaining article called Why I don’t have a separate business & personal accounts on Twitter, the author did a poll of her visitors asking: “Should I have two different Twitter accounts?” and the resounding answer was no!

I enjoyed the article but disagree with the conclusion.

With the idea that “people buy from people, not businesses”, the author concluded that she will combine personal and business social media accounts into a one size fits all.

But does one size fit all?

Suppose, instead of watching MadMen last night, I went clubbing, to a political rally, or to support some controversial cause…do I want my business contacts to know this information?

Absolutely not. Not only might people not care, they might be offended to the point where they will not do business with you. In some drastic cases, you can imagine litigation against your company for something that was said in a social media environment.

So, then, you are faced with a choice. You can either maintain one personal/business account and restrain yourself because your personal social media account IS your business account OR you can maintain two accounts.

Interestingly, the author of the above article, who is an advocate for one mixed personal/business social media account says “you have no IDEA how much I have to edit myself”. Thus, while the article is about letting your personality shine through, it’s really about letting your “edited” personality shine through.

Social Media: Business With a Personality

In the end, this decision might come down to your type of business. If your business is celebrated because of controversial points of view, you may want to maintain one account.

But this is not usually the case.

Most businesses should separate accounts and develop their own business social media identity. This identity does not have to be bland and fact-based. It can shine with personality, albeit an “edited” personality that addresses primarily topics of the business!

Richard CummingsManaging Social Media Accounts: Business vs Personal

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