As a social media marketing specialist and coach I am always being asked, “How do you deal with social media in regard to the personal and business aspects of posts and profiles?” 

You can never remove YOU from the social media equation.  You are your brand.  What happens when you try to mix a business profile into an already existing personal profile, when the personal profile has things in it that you don’t want shared with the business community of clients and prospects, or even an employer and co-workers?  Do you really want those posts and pictures of you in compromising situations on display for your clients, prospects, vendors, business associates, bosses or co-workers?

Who ever thought that those social networks, where you hung out with your friends and let your hair down, would become the new business communication tools of choice?  And who ever thought that all of those conversations and pictures would be accessible through the search engines? 

Social media has changed the way the world communicates and it is evolving so rapidly that who knows what the next generation of social media tools will look like.  With all the information we have at our fingertips, the way we do business has changed as well.

I always recommend that you put together a laser-focused strategy for your social media, just like the one you have for your offline marketing efforts.  With a strategy that is focused on your target market you will have a clear direction on what tools to use and what information to put out there in order to be viewed as a valuable resource in your niche or industry.   Your posts, tweets and status updates need to have some thought put into the messaging before you hit the Share button.  You want to think about your target audience and how they might react to what you put out there.

You are Your Brand, so treat your online experience and exposure with the utmost care.

Kathy Perry, Social Media Marketing Specialist