One-Two or No Online Personalities – Social Media in Business

One of the big decisions in entering the Social Media space is to work out how many personalities you have? Do you mix work and business  together in one personality or presence? Do you keep Facebook for personal and LinkedIn for work? Or do you just say I am private and I want no online presence.

Google your name, what comes up? – porn star, sports results or a successful business person? You have some control over this; do not leave it to chance.

No matter what decision you make, you need to manage your online brand and impression. This goes for everyone young and old. Remember we live in a new world “what goes on tour stays on  youtube, flicker, facebook”. This is particularly relevant for younger people who may have some skeletons that they may not want surfacing when they are about to go for that big job, close that contract or whatever.  A good rule to follow is put nothing on the internet that you wouldn’t want your mum to see or appear on the front page of the Herald.

For those who say no online presence, you have no say, stuff will appear and it may not be what you want.   Many people in this camp simply do not want to be on show. The absence of an online presence, for some, may be interpreted as “you have something to hide”.

If you are business and hold a customer facing position I strongly  suggest you need build an online presence. At very least put a brief LinkedIin profile up (www.linkedin.com). This will always appear high on the google search. Alos mor and more people are using linkedin as a qualifying tool for people they want to do business with.

ONE or TWO Personalities?

Many people are subscribing to the two or schizophrenic personality approach, one for work stuff one for personal. At the moment I am using one for business (Blogs, Linkedin, Work Related Facebook pages) and another for my personal  Facebook. With my personal facebook only open to my real friends and close acquaintances.  After hearing some Social Media experts in Sydney last week I am starting to question this.

One Online Persona – Camp

@MartyatDell and @RichardatDell subscribed to the one persona camp. Their logic being – Dell is about dealing with real people, that have life’s outside work. “If I speak about Dell products I should declare it” – hence Dell employees are encouraged to have one twitter account, note they include “AtDell” in their name so it’s clear and transparent that they are Dell employees .

It’s clear that if you are empowering your employees to be spokespeople for your business you need to ensure they are communicating in a manner compatible to your businesses brand.

I subscribe to the theory that says you must actively manage your personal brand on and off line. Companies brand identities are in part, made up of the mini brands of their employees.

So if you are going to use one persona – some tips:

  • Keep your postings balanced 80% work- 20% personal
  • Do not bombard (spam your audience) – I followed “Guy Kawaski” on twitter for about 2 days because of this – shame he is a great thought leader.
  • Remember social media is about attitude and opinion, but don’t overdo it.

 Split Personality Work and Home

At the moment the approach of splitting work and home seems to win favour with most, avoiding spamming your business contacts with what a great dinner you are at or your recent bike ride.

As search methodologies evolve this may become a moot point.  Clearly the trend and in fact one of the benefits of Social Media, is that when you search the web you will get material based on your interests and from people who you trust. If you want highly relevant information fed to you, then perhaps the single persona is the approach.

And remember at the end of the day, there is only one of you – like it or lump it.
When you get me,you get all of me, but perhaps that only suits the extraverts out there.

What’s your approach and why?

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