This is a tough call for many of us. We live in a divided, politically driven country. How do we navigate our own social media with so much divisiveness? We all come to the table as freelance service providers with our own personal lives and beliefs. We encounter many different types of business owners that also have their own beliefs. And many times we are polar opposites of the people that have entrusted us with their projects.
So, how do you approach social media when you have your own business? Do you hide who you are? Do you throw caution to the wind and let your freak flag fly? My approach is somewhere in the middle.
First of all, I do friend my clients on my personal Facebook page, but I’m discerning on who is a “friend-first” client and who is a “client-first” friend. Those that I don’t know well, are marked just acquaintances. They don’t see everything I post. Those I know really well are friends in the fullest sense. I don’t seek them out, but friend them if they friend me.
I try to keep my own Facebook page pretty free of politics other than an occasional like or funny post. This is mostly because my Dad’s on Facebook and well, I’d like to keep my radical liberal agenda to myself. 🙂 He’d laugh hard if he read this! I also have friends from all walks of life and again, don’t need to share every political post that comes my way.
My Facebook business page is just that, ALL BUSINESS. Everything I post here is related to WebCami Site Design, websites, stuff my clients would like to know or local business events. I want to be a useful source for clients here and that doesn’t leave room for much else.
This is not used for business but I do have a link to it on my business page. I once got hired for a few photos I took that were posted in a community blog. I like people to see I’m a mom, dog owner, food lover, etc. I’m not an all work all the time person.
Twitter is my favorite social media channel. That is where I feel like I can just be me. I’m addicted to it. Because of that, I started a Twitter for WebCami Cafe. I share that on my business page now so I feel more freedom on Twitter to be myself. This mostly means that I reply a snarky tweet to the leader of the free world every now and then. Many of my WordPress colleagues are friends with me on my personal twitter. And I’m cool with it.
There are some general rules I use on all my social channels, regardless of how I use them:
- Do no harm. This is a great rule for life.
- Stay out of pissing matches.
- Retweet, share and like things your friends and colleagues do, post and like.
- Report bad things to the powers that be.
- Being yourself doesn’t mean sharing your every thought.
The rules above should help you keep your personal and public social media life in line with supporting your business goals. I think it’s important to represent your true personality to clients. It can be done with balance, professionalism, honesty and a little bit of humor. After all, we want to attract the clients we want to work with the most. Don’t be afraid to be yourself online.