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I maintain a Facebook account in my personal life, but only have a few connections and use it mostly as a source of information when others fail me. I have a LinkedIn account for my professional life and to date, i have been able to keep the two separate.

My problem comes with the use of twitter because it can cross all boundaries and is use professionally, personally as well as many business, charitable organizations. Currently i use my twitter account to connect to many friends, charities and any organization i use in my personal life. Since i plan to become more active career wise, i am wondering if i should use a different permanent twitter account to connect to various companies, organizations and others that can be used to help my career as well a offering help myself.

My Questions are:
1. Should i maintain separate twitter accounts for my personal and professional life. using my personal one in parallel with Facebook and another for use with LinkedIn.

2. Should i have just one twitter account and set myself strict rules on how i manage connections and "Protect my tweets" so that i can control who can follow me ?

m76's picture

I faced a similar dilemma a little while ago - Facebook has a few blurred lines as it is. Professional peers, even customers are on my Facebook friends list - but little (if anything) of a work nature gets posted there.

Twitter is a different story. I'd tweet a few times per week on average and it occurred to me that I really had two personalities - one that likes funny kittens, cool tech, photography and environmental causes. The other that likes management topics and business related news. I thought about using the same account for everything, but my decision came down to this:
- my small number of followers had all found me due to what I tweeted about the most; usually 'non-professional' topics
- when I tweet a link to a cool business article, do I want all those serious professional types to scroll through my timeline and see me chuckling at a ticklish hedgehog?

Overall I found that my followers in each stream were likely to be different - some overlap, certainly, but for the most part they were without any real correlation. For my 'personal brand' to be stronger, I need not bore my photography followers with the latest news on CEO changes at a major corporation. Similarly, followers who like my recommendations on consumer science don't need the distraction of happy snaps.

I'm quite open about the fact that I have two accounts - in my profile page of each I point from one to the other to make it clear what people can expect to find. If an industry peer happens to follow me and decide they need more kittens in their stream - they're welcome to follow me twice.

nwillis's picture

To a large extent, i think you are echoing my own thoughts of how i visioned two separate  accounts going. At the moment i only use twitter for personal stuff , although i have started to follow some career related links. I must admit that I'm going to do some more thinking about this one before i indulge in either direction.

As i type , the one thought that does strike me relates to keeping my professional and personal life separate. At the moment , only a few people at work know my personal story, its not something i preach about at work, unless i sure there's genuine interest.

I know we all have personal ups and downs and i don't like to bore people with mine if they're not interested or if i don't want to share that kinda thing with them. So for the moment I'm starting to lean towards 2.

Thank you very much indeed for your posting. It has been insightful.

ssentes's picture

Theres a cast for that! The cast below is a great one for this exact situation and will take you through specifically which social media platforms are applicable to which situations (personal vs. professional):

https://www.manager-tools.com/2013/12/work-family-and-social-media

As the cast mentions, Twitter is the hardest platform to get right. Basically, it is really up to you how you want to handle it (2 seperate accounts or one amalgamated account). If you have a strong understanding of twitter and a clear idea of the you you want to present you may be able to mix the updates. Remeber that anyone can find the accounts whether you keep them seperate or not. Always consider first: could this be taken out of context by a hiring manager to my detriment?

Take a listen to the cast and if you have more questions there are several more of social media casts on the site. Most of them apply directly to LinkedIn but they may all be helpful. Follow the link to check them out: https://www.manager-tools.com/get-answers?search=social%20media

Sarah Sentes - Manager Tools Presenting Associate

 

 

nwillis's picture

Wow. Thanks indeed for your posting ssentes. I hope you enjoy saying ..."There's a podcast for that" cus it kinda makes me smile and its quite a relief also.

As you can probably guess , I'm wrestling with this type of issue as part of my career and I'd like to get it right. Since my thoughts are also on Linkedin and Facebook, I'm going to give them all a go cus  i think i'm getting my wired crossed when i think about personal and professional, especially when the business world makes plenty of use of  facebook. So i'd like to keep my boundries nice and crisp.

Thanks very much for mentionign the podcasts and pointing me in the right direction.

nwillis's picture

That podcast in very interesting and as i suspected , Linked in for professional , Facebook for personal and unless your really clever with Twitter the separate ones for personal and professional. That sorts a lot out for me but i still have one issue. My email favourite is GMAIL an that has Google+.and opens up a small can of worms for me. Some time ago i posted a question about having a separate email address for job hunting. And although there can be some justification on having a separate one which i am comfortable with, a suggestion from one learned forum member, i can be summarize by saying that in order to form long term relationships with job hunters, recruitment companies and similar professionals, using you normal account (ie not a short term/disposable account) would be the most professional choice. That is something i can easily agree with.

 

This week a though struck me. I am a big fan of GMAIL, I'm very used to it  and i almost like Google+. the problem i have is that using th epodcast rational i should have a professional GMAIL address and a Personal GMAIl address.

The other option would be to use an email system that has no networking or collaboration tool attached. That would help me out so long as i did nto need to use any Google+ functionality.

Can any one offer me advice on this issue please

THX

Nigel

nwillis's picture

Wow. Thanks indeed for your posting ssentes. I hope you enjoy saying ..."There's a podcast for that" cus it kinda makes me smile and its quite a relief also.

As you can probably guess , I'm wrestling with this type of issue as part of my career and I'd like to get it right. Since my thoughts are also on Linkedin and Facebook, I'm going to give them all a go cus i think I'm getting my wired crossed when i think about personal and professional, especially when the business world makes plenty of use of Facebook. So I'd like to keep my boundaries nice and crisp.

Thanks very much for mentioning the podcasts and pointing me in the right direction.

 

Gk26's picture

My Twitter account is mixed use.  I am fine with it that way.