One of the most common questions I have had in the Zestee Social Media School is how to keep my personal and professional life separate on social media? Here’s a detailed post on how I manage my own social media and which tools I use.
As a social media consultant and trainer, the lines between my personal and professional life online are often blurred. Sometimes that’s deliberate but as both my business and friend connections grow and my time is limited, I need to create a clearer strategy about how to handle my online relationships.
Lately, I have missed important news from close friends and family and am not building and maintaining relationships with business connections as efficiently as I would like. So today, it’s time for a overhaul of my online connections and I thought I’d share how I personally use (or plan to use) the various social media tools to keep my work and personal life separate.
Facebook is my favourite social media network and I use it for several purposes:
- To keep in touch with family and close friends
- To build, maintain and strengthen relationships
- To keep up to date with businesses I am interested in
- To build my own businesses
- To organise events: both personal and business
- Research and information gathering
As a general rule, I only accept friend requests from people I have met personally and would like to build or maintain a relationship with.
I do NOT accept friend requests from a profile with a business name. Not only is this against Facebook policy, to me it’s not a good foundation for a personal relationship which is the whole purpose of connecting as friends.
I’m currently Facebook friends with several business-related contacts but am politely advising them that I’d prefer to communicate with them via my Facebook business page or LinkedIn.
My own business pages on Facebook are:
I’m more than happy to have as many “likers” as are interested on there.
I do follow more than 2000 business pages on Facebook and am a member of a lot of groups, but suspect that others, like me, are getting a little tired sometimes of the constant mingling of business and personal life on Facebook. So there are settings where you can control this if you wish, such as creating interest lists, and I intend on using these a little more often now to separate business and personal life.
I’m using LinkedIn more often lately and as mentioned above, asking my business connections to switch over to this platform from Facebook. New business connections – for example people I meet at a networking event – I request to connect with here. I also do check if they have a Facebook business page and will often follow that. My LinkedIn Profile is here:
Until recently, I have always tweeted with the one account – @reneeveldman – for both personal and business related issues. Just last month, I’ve decided to change this. I now have the following accounts:
- @ProParents (family business balance topics)
- @DutchAustralian (for those with connections to Australia & NL)
- @ZesteeConcepts (social media, marketing & photography)
- @reneeveldman (my personal one – a mix of everything!)
So of course, it is going to be more work to manage a number of accounts but I can use tools such as Hootsuite to do this and prefer to not only keep work and personal life separate but continue to build my business brands here too.
Similar to the Twitter set up, here I have a personal account on Google+ as well as three business pages. Something I’ve begun using more regularly personally is the Google+ photo albums, as it connects directly to my Picasa program – one of my favourite ways to organise my photos on my Mac laptop. I don’t use Google+ very often to connect with either friends or business connections but due to the online power of Google, felt it is too big to ignore so I kind of “dip” in here from time to time.
This is a bit of a blurred business/personal account and I think with this tool, it works well this way. My user name is my business name – zestee, take a look at my account and let me know what you think:
As you’ll see, I have individual boards for each of my business brands (Dutch Australian, Zestee & Professional Parents) but also a mixture of more personal things like ideas & inspiration. If you would like to keep some boards totally separate (for example planning a wedding), you can also create private boards. On Pinterest, I have many followers who I don’t know personally and I follow my Facebook friends as well as some other boards I like.
Similar set up to Pinterest – my user name here is zestee_renee. A lot of the photos I share here are personal, with plenty of photos of my children, but as you’ll see, there is also an element of professional promotion for my brands as well. Here I connect with just about anyone who is interested, and I follow my Facebook friends.