Is it possible to separate your personal life and work life on social networks like LinkedIn?

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Many individuals join professional social networks like LinkedIn for their own professional development rather than as brand ambassadors for their work.

Over the last year I have engaged with many people on social media platforms and have found it hard to separate the two on some networks such as LinkedIn. In my last position for a membership organisation, I often was personally contacted on LinkedIn and Twitter about the organisation. This led me to think about how, if I should or if I even could separate work from play.

Like many people I know I initially joined LinkedIn for my professional development and to keep in touch with contacts who I have met through networking, events and work. At first I wasn’t too sure what I thought of people contacting me directly about my work seeking more information. But it made sense as people like dealing with people who they can put a face and name to. Inevitably if you work in marketing and are doing your job properly you will probably end up becoming a brand ambassador whether you like it or not. If you do not want to be a brand ambassador for your company then perhaps you should rethink what and who you should work for.

With the explosion of social media not only the marketing team and stakeholders need to be brand advocates – all employees need to be as well. Employers also have to take care in making sure all staff will represent their brand in the right light or at the least don’t do the opposite. This does not mean that every employee has to be out there promoting the brand and company through their social networks, but that they should at least know how to respond and act. For example, if an individual asks for information about their workplace via LinkedIn employees should know how to respond and direct them to the right person who can help in their organisation.

Ultimately, my active use of social media over the years for work and play has highlighted how important it is to become a brand ambassador for my work. To me, this can only be done if I am passionate and believe in the organisation I work for. This is now a key factor in my job hunt for my next London marketing role!

I am interested to hear whether you have had the same experience and/or whether you have chosen to keep the two separate?

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2 thoughts on “Is it possible to separate your personal life and work life on social networks like LinkedIn?

  1. It is difficult to decide what social media accounts to leave personal and what to make an extension of your company. I tweet for my company (@anchormd) but I also have a personal Twitter account with protected tweets, as well as a Twitter account for my children’s book (@littlegabbybook). As if that isn’t enough to keep up on, I also have a Facebook for myself and I manage the Facebook for my company. My Facebook is private, but my LinkedIn profile is used for networking. I also started a LinkedIn page for my company, plus a YouTube channel and blog, all of which is public. And finally, (are you exhausted yet?) I have a Google+ account. That’s the wild card. I can’t really decide what to post on Google+ or who my audience is. It seems sort of wrong to use Google+ as another Facebook but I also don’t want to use it for work. Hmm. Thoughts?

    • Thanks for your comment. You seem to be taking care of a lot of social media platforms – you must be very busy!

      I agree with you about Google+ as it’s hard to decide where to position it in relation to all the other social media platforms that we use. I personally have only been using Google+ quite lightly and it is more of a personal account as it’s linked to my personal Gmail account. If it had come into the picture a few years ago I think I would have been a bit more enthusiastic about it, but at the moment it’s a big question of if I want to dedicate that much more time engaging on another platform as I don’t want to stop using LinkedIn, Facebook or twitter.

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