It is utterly necessary to keep ones personal social media separated from Business. Business, to a large extent, counts on an entrepreneur’s reputation. Reputation takes years to build but can collapse in a very short span of time. A person’s likes, dislikes, personal opinion about an issue and taste are largely revealed through Social Media sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. It is important to keep your business acquaintances away from your personal social media pages. There are several reasons why you should follow this.
What happens if you hit ‘Like’ on Facebook?
The answer is nothing. There is nothing wrong in liking something isn’t it? But your liking something can convey a different interpretation to some people. For instance, you ‘like’ the official page of a particular brand of garments from your Facebook profile. As an individual you are very much free to do so and no one will restrict you or file a case against you. But the CEO of your client company who also happens to be your ‘friend’ on Facebook will look at the matter from a different perspective as the garments brand promoted by his company is a competitor of the brand which you just ‘liked’ on Facebook. It is needless to say that he will not accept this very heartily or positively. This can even go to a higher extent of having a bearing on your relation with your client.
Photos with your family and friends
Would you really want people apart from your family and friend circle view photos? Some things are meant to be personal such as captured moments shared with your family or friends. But the moment you post the snaps on your Facebook wall or create a photo album, the personal moments are made public. You can change the visibility to your ‘friends’ or ‘friends of friends’ from ‘public’ or even restrict the number of people whom you want to share your album with. But you have to do this every time you post a new photo on your wall or create a new album.
Wall Posts or Tweets
The same applies for wall posts as well. Your personal opinions are not meant to be shared with people who are only professionally connected to you. Remember, a wall post or a tweet can have negative outcomes on your reputation as an entrepreneur. For example, your political beliefs are not to be discussed (read posted or tweeted) in Social Media pages if they are offensive or hurt the sentiments of others. You support the ruling party of your state and post or tweet about the opposition’s effort to undermine the ruling party’s initiatives. A client of yours who subscribes to the beliefs of the party in opposition may not like your posts which might eventually affect your rapport.
Think before you ‘share’
As mentioned above, your personal opinion may not be liked by people connected to you through your business. It is not necessary that the opinion comes in the form of a wall post or tweet but may also be shared by you on your Facebook page. The moment you share something, it appears on the walls or timelines of people who are there in your ‘Friend List’ unless of course the visibility is limited. Also make sure that the post which you share, does not redirect to any webpage containing insecure or unethical content.
Is in a relation with…
Your business acquaintances should only view the professional aspects of your profile and NOT the personal ones. Hence it is very important to draw a line. It may so happen that your relation with your girlfriend/boyfriend may come public even if you do not want to. Although you have the option to keep your relationship status private, if by mistake you forget to activate that option, your relationship status might come public. You always have the option to keep your relationship status column blank but at times you have to yield to the insistence of your partner who prefers to have a public display of the status.
Your ‘Friend List’ matters
Suppose two of your clients have a competition with each other but share a healthy relationship with you. They might dislike the idea of finding each other in your Facebook Friend List or following you on Twitter as they fear of getting confidential information leaked.
Marketing is an indispensable aspect of business. Hence, inspite of all the above possibilities, you need a Facebook or Twitter account for the promotion of your business. What do you do then? Under such circumstances it would be advisable to create a separate (official) profile or a business page or group rather than adding your business contacts on your personal profile and sharing your personal information (in the form of photos, posts or tweets) with them. In this way you will be able to skilfully balance your professional and personal dealings.