In part one I kind of knocked on social networking as a tool to improve your career.
I believe my hesitance relates greatly in the way we have become so personal with our social networking tools.
I’m no different – my friends know what snacks I eat while watching The Biggest Loser, some of the stories I read to my children before they fall to sleep, and how many times my daughter got sick last week while she was battling the flu.
Do they want to know this? Probably not – which is why I believe we have to be careful using tools such as Facebook as we network professionally.
I have been following a few companies on Facebook recently. I thought it would be interesting to see how they dealt with this issue.
One uses the tool as a business tool only. The posts made are very focused and on point to what it is this person is selling. I know I can guarantee when this person posts it will not be about anything personal.
Yet another business continually posts personal things, even though this business, too, could use the tool solely for company-related news.
I recently heard a friend say that her husband has been told what he posts on Facebook could come back to haunt him career wise. While he is not a user (this was in general terms), the context was clear: If you don’t want to have to hold this up in court, don’t put it up there. And, he was also told, make sure your family is doing the same.
There are ways to use social networking to promote your company, though, and after the last post I didn’t want to leave on a negative note.
Today I wanted to share what social networking and marketing can do for your career in a positive light, thanks to several great tips and ideas I received when I queried social networking as a career tool.
- Keep your private life private and separate from your work life. If you need to start two Facebook accounts for this reason, do it! As I said, I have been following someone’s business facebook updates and I’m learning a bit too much about their personal life, which to me is unprofessional.
- Rachna D. Jain, Chief Social Marketer for The MindShare Corporation, says, “Participate appropriately on the various sites- the “feel” of LinkedIn is different than Facebook– and should be approached as such.” Remember, what you post on Facebook (“I drank way too much wine last night at my friend’s 40th and I’m paying for it now!”) is probably not appropriate for LinkedIn.
- For that matter, Kurt Weyerhauser, Managing Partner at Kensington-Stone, says, “. . . use sound judgement when it comes to deciding what to post online.” This is especially true, he adds, with sites like Twitter, which can generally be accessed by anyone. If you do not want everyone in the world to know you had too much wine at your friend’s birthday party last night, don’t post it!