The GLAD WORKS Guide to Keeping Your Kiss Cover Band a Secret
If you’re like so many people we know, you started your personal Twitter and Facebook accounts before you ever thought of doing the same for your business, and now you’re in quite a pickle because you’ve got clients/customers/colleagues mixed in there with birthday wishes from your Aunt Betty and pictures of you in your Kiss cover band outfit and All Hell’s Breakin’ Loose.
Have you cringed at the thought of your customers/clients/colleagues seeing your personal stuff? Have you been terrified that your friend who likes to make, ahem, inappropriate remarks is going to post something on your wall that will make your business contacts clutch their pearls in horror?
But how should you separate your private life from your public online persona? It’s tough, and we’re not going to lie to you, dear readers. We’re not entirely sure how to handle it either because there’s no clear-cut answer to this one. It’s really all up to you and what you’re comfortable doing. Maybe you don’t even need to do anything! Maybe your online persona IS your “real life” persona and that’s all fine and dandy with you.
Great! Go with that!
But what if you’re really stressing about keeping things separate? After all, if you play in a Kiss cover band on the weekends, that’s nobody’s business but your own (and all 965 of your Facebook friends). Besides, you can’t always be ON. You have to have a space where you can be you and not You, The Marketing Machine.
How the heck do you pull this off?
One thing you could do is use a different network for different purposes. We suggest using LinkedIn for business and Facebook for personal. LinkedIn is a much more business-y place, so it really does lend itself to that kind of interaction quite nicely. Facebook is more of a place where people expect you to share personal stuff, so you can totally keep that picture of you in your Kiss costume up and nobody is going to judge you for it (but we may giggle a little bit).
Oh, and just in case your LinkedIn contacts try to friend you on Facebook, make sure they know that you prefer to keep your business contacts on LinkedIn. You don’t even need to explain or go into detail. Just be polite and friendly and people should understand.
Another popular option if you really don’t feel like creating a whole new account on a different site, would be to simply play with your settings on Facebook to try and specify which group of friends has access to what. You could also maintain a personal profile as well as a business page on Facebook if you wanted to, but try not to let the two intermix or you’ll be right back to where you started. Also, pay close attention to which account you're logged into when posting updates.
How about using Twitter for business and Facebook for personal stuff? Twitter is a great professional networking tool and works well as a public forum. The only problem is that Twitter is somewhat limited in terms of your ability to expand your profile, so that limits it’s awesomeness as the only professional tool you're using. If you choose this option, you don’t have to make the two mutually exclusive. It’s okay if you want to sprinkle a little personal stuff into your business tweets, and little business stuff into your facebook posts or vice versa. Just make sure those Kiss concert dates and times reach only their intended audience and you’ll be okay.
The last option we have to offer you is to take your private life off the Internet altogether. Just…wipe yourself off there completely and as far as the Internet goes, you’re all business, all the time. This option might appeal to you for “bigger” reasons: because we’ve all given up so much of our privacy through our online existence, maybe going “off the grid” wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
So, you can either try to separate your two personas, have no private life at all on the Internet, which arguably you don’t have anyway, or be incredibly vigilant about everything you say and do online.
This is certainly not an exhaustive list of your options, and as we said, there’s no ideal, clear cut way to go about this. Hopefully, we’ve given you a little something to think about so you can Rock and Roll All Nite! Just don’t party every day or your customers will wonder what happened to you.
PS: Next week, in an unrelated but related article, we’ll tackle Twittequette, or, how to manage your Twitter account as politely as possible.
This whole issue was a bit easier for me due to having an ex-husband & teenager who I need to keep in touch with but I don't necessarily want knowing all of my personal business. So, I have a Facebook account that is "things I wouldn't mind my teenager seeing/knowing" which is also the "business" me. This applies to Twitter, too.
There are times it gets to be lots of work to have to make multiple postings and being vigilant that I'm logged into the correct account keeps me on my toes.
There just isn't a "one-size-fits-all" solution to this dilemma. You need to remember that privacy settings can fail, so it's smart to not put anything anywhere on the internet that you wouldn't want your mother/boss/kids to see.
Adam sent me this post via Twitter over the weekend, and he's right -- it was right up my alley! I struggle with this whole social media persona thing, since by day I'm a social media manager for New England Multimedia, and by night I'm a superhero. My fear is that one day those pesky paparazzi are going to figure out who I am, and blow my cover. ;o)