In this day and age of ubiquitous social media and status updates, it’s not uncommon to see in our Twitter or Facebook feeds news from our professional contacts interspersed with innocuous, but extremely personal bits of information as well.
Most of us are probably, in some way or another, guilty of this as well: we send out links to our latest blog content and in the next minute tell everyone we’re at some coffee shop or enthralled by the latest celebrity meltdown.
While such personal updates might be great for your friends to read, they are less interesting to your many professional contacts, many of whom you directly rely upon for business help and/or possible freelance work or other positions.
So, if you’re guilty of mixing your personal life with your professional one through social media, then you might be interested in the following tips, which could help you separate work from play.
Create Two Different Profiles
If you’re willing to go the extra mile, then it might be worth it to create two internet presences for yourself. The first can be a public profile, one that is professional in nature.
The second can be private so that only your close friends can access it. That way you can compartmentalize your life, keeping your social world separate from your professional world.
Of course, this might take a lot of effort. You’ll have to make sure you’re in the right profile before you post a status update or accept a friend request.
Also, you will have to be aware that some private information about you could still be indexed by the search engines, so it couldn’t hurt to occasionally search your name to see what comes up outside your private social network.
Manage Contact Lists
Many social networks will give you the option to filter what certain contacts can see or not see in both your profile and your news feed. If you have the time, then you could go through all of your contacts and create a professional list and a friend list.
Of course, if you have already built up your friends lists to be extensive, this could take far too long to sort.
Think Before You Tweet
If you can’t sort through all of your contacts, then you will simply have to be mindful of everyone who has access to your feeds. This means that you should think before you Tweet, or post a status update, or tag yourself in a photo.
If you do any of those things specifically to impress one set of contacts in your list, but you ignore another set of contacts, then you might have to face certain consequences, from losing the respect of a supervisor to losing a job with a client.
Be careful what you disseminate throughout the internet with your brand attached to it.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
Likewise, you should choose your friends wisely. The first and foremost way you control who can access your news and status updates is by managing the myriad friend and follower requests that you might receive.
If you want to set up your profile as a professional one, then don’t accept that friend request from your hard-partying friend. I’m sure he or she will understand, especially in this job market, why you might want to control the information about you out there.
This guest contribution was submitted by Katheryn Rivas, who particularly enjoys writing about online universities. She can be contacted at: email@example.com.