Are You Presenting a Positive Image on Facebook?

Are You Presenting a Positive Image on Facebook?

As a business owner, you understand the importance of using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to market your website. One of the biggest problems I see, however, is that those who are attempting to present a professional face often let the dividing line between their business lives and their personal lives blur – sometimes a bit too much.

Business vs Personal Facebook Pages

You may have a personal Facebook page and a business page, but are you really keeping the two separate? Let’s start with the business page. The things you post there should remain on topic, keeping the scope of your business and industry in mind. You may share links to blog posts on your business site, share information about discounts, ask questions or run polls, and maybe even share links to industry related articles. From time to time you might post something personal, about a major event like a birth or a wedding, but your personal opinions on topics like religion and politics – unless those are the focus of your business – should remain quiet.

Your personal page is another issue and this is where the line gets blurred. Are you allowing business associates and clients to friend you personally or are you asking them to follow your business page alone? If you’re keeping your personal page limited to close friends and family members, you can use it as a personal platform as you see fit, especially if you can keep your privacy settings updated. If you’re allowing business associates to follow your personal page, you’ll need to keep that in mind as you write your posts, treating it much like you would your other page.

Reputation Management on Social Media

Part of the reason you have to be careful about what you say online is because of your reputation. You’ll always want to keep an eye out for what others are saying so that you can respond properly. This is the core of reputation management. If you spend all of your time sharing political images and posting Facebook emoticons, your business associates and potential clients may not take you seriously – and they might even become offended.

I saw an example of this about a year ago. A popular online cooking magazine stole an article a writer had published on another website. When the writer approached the editor, the editor handled the situation very badly. The writing world was up in arms, posting articles and blog posts about the situation. The editor accused the writer of being a hacker, when in reality she knew very little about both copyright law and how to use social media. Before long, she took down both the website and the Facebook pages. The entire magazine was destroyed because of her public outbursts in response to something that could have been handled privately and professionally.

In short, make sure that everything you write on your social media sites is material you’d be ready to defend if needed. You’re entitled to your personal opinions, but it may not be smart – from a business standpoint – to share them with the world.

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