Personal and Professional Use of Social Media

The use of Social Media is a phenomenon in this era of technology.  Blending both personal and professional social media can be done but it must be balanced.  In the world of social media sites there is the need for users to be mindful of their audience and their objective.

It amazes me to learn of the postings which appear on some Facebook pages, personal vendettas expressed in detail which have created criminalistic situations for those parties involved.  In most cases perhaps these are simply responsible adults making unwise choices.  The concern for the non-profit organization would be to consider the balance exhibited by the employee or potential employee when using this social media.

Certainly, the user must exercise the intelligence to ensure that what’s posted on the personal social media website is tailored to blend with professional websites and visitors.  The benefit of using both are that people can get a glimpse of you on a personal level and this may be the spark that is needed to pursue a business idea or opportunity.

Conversations are what I find that take place on these websites and through conversation we can determine if we want to pursue relationships whether business or personal.  Sharing some personal information on a Linkedin account can be beneficial and sharing business information on a personal, yet now very public Facebook page can broaden one’s pool of contacts.  Users must consider the value and context of their posts on both sites before the benefits of this balance can be realized.

It is very likely in this age of technology and social websites are going to continue this growth trend so the message is to find balance, consider value and ensure the context is thought through when the use of social media is activated.  Both the personal and professional can be merged successfully.


2 comments on “Personal and Professional Use of Social Media

  1. Tanya,

    You hit on the main issue when you talk about balance. I think this is the most important element that we have to learn. It may seem obvious, but balance is the hardest thing about using social media for a nonprofit organization. How much is too much personal sharing? How do you make something real and meaningful to the reader while still maintain the confidentiality of the client or the appropriate sharing of a staff member? How do we create a sense of urgency on the part of the reader/supporter, but not exploit the people we serve in the organization? These are difficult questions.

    It is also true that not all social media sites are created equal. The information you place on one site is necessarily different than another because your audiences are different and your goals are different.

    You talk about the qualities of the person doing the posting – you might find this article interesting:

    Qualities of a social media manager: http://tinyurl.com/7scvu8w

    • Thanks for for the link Dr. P. I also agree the questions you raise are difficult. How to create a sense of urgency in the reader/supporter while remaining ethical and sensitive to those served would be the foremost concern of a SW Social Media manager. As SW’s we have the responsibility to the client, organization and ourselves,

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