First of all, I absolutely love this topic. Again and again I cover this as it is a concern for lots of professionals such as you and I out there. We see that members of our target market are using social sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube like crazy…but how can I get involved with social and not share all of the intimate portions of my life.
This is something that I completely understand. When I started out in social, promoting myself, I made the decision to be 100% transparent. It was hard at first, but felt very natural after time. But I speak with people very often that enjoy hiding behind their brand and distancing themselves from social.
I am definitely placing no judgement there. For years we were able to do this but the humanization of brands is something that social sites have begun to put on fast forward. Now it seems that everything is wide open and online for all to see. BUT…this isn’t the full picture.
Over the past few years privacy laws and site updates have seen drastic changes to sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter which allow you to have lots of flexibility on how you are found, viewed and interacted with online.
But privacy aside, let me give you the real insight here. When you decide to market your company/brand/services/products using social, you do NOT have to reveal one single personal fact about you as a person.
What I mean by this is that is:
*Facebook Page: You create the page using your personal Facebook Profile, but you can make your Facebook Personal Profile nearly 100% invisible. Actually, you can create one and leave it blank if you wish, filling in only the vital stats. Then, you are able to login to Facebook and then “Use Facebook as Page”. This allows you to navigate through Facebook as your company, rather than yourself. So professional present, personal hidden.
*Twitter Account: Create a Twitter account for your brand and Tweet about your company, industry and news….not anything personal. In the description you should put your name and that you are the “insert title” of “insert company” and a little about what you want to tweet about. Again….professional to the forefront and personal out of sight.
*LinkedIn Profile: This is a bit trickier as you will, and should, completely fill out the profile. But, there are privacy settings on here that will let you restrict what people can see. My advice though is that if you are not comfortable with networking with other professionals, I would side step LinkedIn (which, by the way, is an absolute gem when it comes to social).
So as you can see, there are ways to get around things. Each site offers setting and privacy that many of us didn’t know existed. We hear about the Facebook stalkers, bullying and spamming – but if you are savvy enough and look close enough, you are totally protected.
My advice? If you want to keep it professional, keep it professional. If you want to mix professional and personal….go for it. At the end of the day, the more “human” your brand is the more you will resonate with your audience. But, if you are worried about privacy and are able to humanize your brand without a face…then fair play to you.