I happen to have a personal and a professional presence on social media. Balancing the two is a personal preference and I’d like to share some thoughts with you. I’m going to start off on Facebook for now. Many of these concepts can be applied to other social networks too.
Facebook is geared toward personal interaction and their statistics show the average user has 130 fans. Facebook has more than 500 million active users! I’ve chosen to approach my activity on Facebook with professionalism and from a business standpoint. My reputation is very important, yours should be also. I don’t play games anymore, I do admit that I have in the past. I don’t see how to network effectively using Farmville, Fishville and Whateverville. If you figure out how to network effectively on these platforms, please let me know! I respond to pokes, but only from people who I’d actually allow to personally touch me to poke, so if you aren’t my real life next door neighbor or my cousin, don’t poke me ~thanks.
There are three major categories of posts; private, personal and professional. If it’s private, don’t post it online. Private information should be conveyed in person or in a one to one real life conversation. Private information should not be shared online ~period. Personal posts are sharable pictures and information appropriate for your employer, Mom/Dad and Grandma/Pa to see and read. Certain posts and photos of my family can be and are set to friends only or even to specific people, that is just my common sense. Professional posts are just simply those regarding your business purpose. Spell correctly and use good grammar, also please don’t use CAPITAL letters for entire posts unless your intent is to shout at someone.
The lines between my own personal and professional posts can be blurred. For me it evolved that way because of my 870 Facebook friends. Social media information can be important to them in addition to the 300+ fans of my fan page. I am always looking to expand my fan base, my information is relevant, engaging and informative. Please take a look at my page and click like, you will be happy click this link or my shiny blue Facebook button on the left. Facebook Fan Page for Maria Snyder Consulting
Facebook Pages have strict Terms of Service. I see Page violations often, be careful and be in line with their policy, violators eventually get caught and disappear. Here are Facebook’s Pages terms. (Date of Facebooks Last Revision: September 13, 2010)
Facebook Pages Terms link and list below: http://www.facebook.com/terms_pages.php
1. Pages are special profiles that may only be used to promote a business or other commercial, political, or charitable organization or endeavor (including non-profit organizations, political campaigns, bands, and celebrities).
2. You may only administer a Facebook Page if you are an authorized representative of the subject of the Page.
3. Pages can only post content and information under the “everyone” setting.
4. When you publish content or information to your Page we have no obligation to distribute your content or information to users.
5. If you use a Like Box or similar widget off of our site to promote your Page, others will be able to copy and place the widget elsewhere.
6. You may not place a Like Box or similar widget in an advertisement.
7. If you collect user information on your Page, Section 9 of this Statement also applies to you.
8. If you display any content on your Page that is an ad or could be construed as an ad, that content must comply with the ad requirements of the Advertising Guidelines.
9. You may not establish terms beyond those set forth in this Statement to govern the posting of content by users on a Page you administer, except you may disclose they types of content you will remove from your Page and grounds for which you may ban a user from accessing the Page.
10. You will restrict access to your Page in order to comply with all applicable laws. For example, if your Page includes content not suitable for minors, you will use your Page to block minors from accessing your Page.
Facebook has many policies worthy of reading. Violate their rules and poof you will disappear. Here are the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities for Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/terms.php
Balance is something you will need to determine and regulate. Good luck and share any ideas you may have with a comment below.