Social media has all but reinvented the concept of personal branding. With the establishment of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and other social media platforms, the opportunities for development, expression and expansion of personal brands has grown to extend never seen before.
Social media presence
I’ve spoken to many brand-conscious professionals, many from the Gen X and Boomer generations, who are just now beginning to develop their social media presences. One of the greatest dilemmas facing these professionals is the separation between their personal lives and their professional ones. Do you add professional contacts or “fans” of your company on Facebook? Do you have separate Twitter accounts for each audience?
I always argue that social media is used for what you want to use it for. Every perspective is different. Every benefit is different. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are some pros and cons to consider when asking yourself,
“Do I separate my audiences, or keep them together?”
– Efficiency in sharing content
– Stronger outward expression of personal brand & personality
– Broader reach for brand through social platforms
– Deeper level of engagement with professional audience
– Increased transparency of personal brand (can be con)
– No separation between personal content and professional content
– Mix of commentary from personal and professional contacts
– Increased transparency of personal brand (can be pro)
– Visibility of personal engagements by professional audience
– Stronger need for filtering of content
– Larger population in news feeds (more content to go through)
– Difficulty separating personal and professional audiences if needed
For my own brand I prefer to keep them separate. I’m also just starting my career, and don’t have as large of a brand built as a more seasoned professional might. I do believe that it is extremely important to weigh your social options before making your final decision. Once you move ahead it’s hard to go back.
David Trahan is a Strategist at leading social marketing agency Mr Youth in New York, which was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Marketing Companies in the World by Fast Company Magazine. He currently serves on the board of the AD Club of New York Young Professionals and is an Alumni Mentor at Pace University. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter or read his blog posts at GrownUpThinking.