Social Media – Managing Your Personal vs. Your Professional Reputation

It’s 2018… Social media, as we know it, has matured and evolved. We, as individuals, have evolved alongside its multiple changes and updates. Social media is now a massive environment, a universe of people, communities, groups, brands, and companies. Everyone and everything is on social media.
 
Both our personal and professional lives are on social media, where everyone can see what we are up to, our passions, our goals and our ideals. Most of us have two or more social media profiles, which we want and hope to use separately. We want to separate our private lives from our professional lives. But juggling two or more profiles, one personal and one professional, can be quite tricky – and slip-ups may eventually occur. Building and maintaining a good online reputation is critical for most of us, so we have to know how to deal with this issue.

Let’s go over some tips on how to handle this delicate topic:
 
1. Know your audience
 
You may be already sick of this phrase, but knowing your audience is super important when trying to separate your personal life from your professional life. But completely separating the people that follow you may be detrimental to your success. If you are your brand, things can get complicated. You can set your security or privacy settings on Facebook, but some people may still want to follow you.  The same goes for Twitter or Instagram. In the end, you will have two separate audiences, which you will have to tackle differently.
 
2. Change your mindset
 
Up until now, you might have either shared too much or too little to your followers. We all do this, and it may or may not work in the long run. But as soon as you create two separate social media accounts, this all changes. You will have to treat both your accounts as important online reputation avenues. Share only quality, relevant information and pay attention to what information gets to which followers. Everything you share can shape or change your mindset and the public’s perception of you. And what happens on your private profile can influence your professional one.
 
3. Filter before sharing
 
No matter what you want to share, whether it’s a photo from a recent trip or an article on iguanas, you should always try to filter what actually gets shared to your followers. This should happen on all your accounts, both private and professional. What if the information might be interpreted the wrong way? What if someone may pick up the story and wrongfully reinterpret it?
 
4. Focus on security
 
While hack attacks are not as common as they were in the past, when they do happen, they wreak havoc on your online reputation. As soon as a hacker has access to your social media accounts, expect the worst to happen. This is why you have to makes sure no one gets access to them. Always use two-step authentication, change your password every 3 months and use separate email addresses for your accounts.

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