Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn…social media is taking over. Actually, it’s probably safe to say that it HAS taken over. Honestly, the only person that I can think of who doesn’t have any sort of social media presence is my father. To be fair, he just learned how to send a text message and when researching the internet he uses the term “the Google thing”. With that being said, an overwhelming majority of adults use social media in some form and more and more businesses are realizing that they need to have a social media presence to be seen as a legitimate contender. Here in lies the problem, how does one reconcile your personal and professional lives on social media? Well, here are a few tips that will hopefully help to guide you through the murky waters of social media.


party vs professional

We’ve all posted them before (or at least we’ve been tagged in them), pictures when you might be having a little too much fun. If you are the Senior VP of Sales, it might not be the best idea to post those pictures of you doing a keg-stand last Saturday.

Think of your “Friends”

dude-dont-post-thatWhen posting on social media it is important that you remember who your friends (followers, etc.) are. We’ve all had that moment of panic when you start a new job and you get that first Friend invite. Your brain is racing a mile a minute: “Are there any embarrassing pictures of me?”, “Has anyone posted anything weird on my wall lately?”, “Should I even accept the invite?”, “Is it rude if I don’t?”  Once you start letting your work world merge with your social media world, you will really need to think about some of the things that you post. For example, don’t post about how bad your day was or how you think your boss is a jerk if your boss is one of your friends! Bad practice!

If you know that you have “friends”/followers in the office, think of this before you post: Would I be comfortable talking about this in the office? If the answer is yes, then post away! If the answer is no, you might want to rethink it. Now, you’re probably thinking that with all these don’ts, what are the do’s? Think of yourself as a brand. Figure out how you want people to see your brand and post as such. By all means have a personality and share your opinions, but be smart about it. Just because Jim down the hall doesn’t follow you on Instagram, doesn’t mean he won’t see that picture from your trip to Vegas. With interfaces like Klout, that pull things from all of your social media accounts into one place, you can never be too sure what people can and cannot see. For more of what NOT to do, check out this slideshow from The Huffington Post: Fired Over Facebook: 13 People Who Got CANNED.

What are your tips and tricks for managing your personal and professional social media lives? Leave your advice in the “Comments” section below!