The Internet has undoubtedly offered many changes in the lives of people in more ways than one. Among these is the use of social media. Social media is one of the reasons why the world becomes smaller, and why it has become easier for people to stay connected wherever part of the world they may be. This is also the reason why even those who are not related by blood or friendship can get to know each other, and the people who were thought as unreachable can be reached through various social networking sites.
It is now a common practice to use social media for personal use. However, there are also individuals and entrepreneurs who use it to help them in their careers or business. Given this objective, it is highly important to maintain professionalism in using this medium of interaction. Your reputation matters, so regardless if you are using separate personal or professional accounts, you ought to maintain professionalism in social media. Consider these strategies:
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1. Mind your privacy.
If you are using social media sites such as the ever-popular Facebook, be sure to set the privacy settings accordingly. If you think you can contain yourself all the time and remain professional in all your posts, stay public. However, you cannot control tagged statuses and photos of your friends, so change the privacy settings of tagged items. Do not be afraid to untag yourself to something inappropriate. You must also be careful about your comments. If you can set the settings in such a way that they are not seen by people who should not read them, change them.
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2. Choose between one or separate profile.
This will depend upon the nature of your work or business. If you are an entrepreneur who would want to reach as many customers as you want, you can have a separate profile solely for professional use. As much as possible, maintain proper conduct by posting only information related to the business. Avoid personal rants and commentaries. Stay as objective as possible. If maintaining two separate accounts is difficult for you, you can still benefit from using a single profile for all your social accounts because you can be easily recalled by your prospects. If you think you cannot control yourself at times, be sure to make your posts as witty as possible. You can still post an opinion and get away with it if you do it cleverly.
3. Refrain from speaking about work.
This is a common sin among most employees these days. They turn to social media to express their feelings towards work. As the saying goes, less talk, less mistakes. If you are maintaining a personal profile, this may be fine for as long as you choose the friends who can read your posts. Never ever post something that is actually addressed to someone you cannot speak with upfront. This will cause more trouble than you think.
4. Check your grammar.
This is often overlooked, but proper grammar helps build your credibility. Imagine a media practitioner stating something on his account with improper grammar. It pays to edit comments and posts before clicking that share button.
5. Use social networks accordingly.
If you cannot help but join the Facebook bandwagon, it’s better to create a page that is dedicated for professional use. Similarly, if you are using Google+, use business pages. You can freely create a personal account on these two sites. Twitter can be used for both reasons; just follow the strategies mentioned above. You can have accounts on top networking sites and include that on your contact information so people could follow you, just like the practice of most businesses these days.
Social networking sites differ from one another the same way that people have different reasons why they use them. Maintaining professionalism and dignity should not only concern ordinary employees, service-oriented individuals and businessmen. As a responsible Internet user, each of us has the responsibility to present ourselves in the most appropriate manner if we want to be respected.
However, if your main objective in using social media is purely for business, it is important to understand the specific characteristic of every site and how to best use them for your professional gain. It is not uncommon that business owners running their websites feature social media accounts on their homepage so people can follow them.
Are there other strategies you employ that has helped you to maintain professionalism in social media? Let us know in the comments below!
Jenny Corteza is an expert blogger and designer. She is fond of writing and love to write about fashion, designing and infographics. In her part time she explore websites to learn more about graphic designing.