Managing Your Business Social Media Presence: Personal and Work Activity

Managing Your Business Social Media Presence: Personal & Work Activity
Chris Lonergan
Chris Lonergan August 23, 2017

Thanks to the internet, anything you or your business ever does now has the potential to live forever. Managing your business social media presence means keeping a hold on your personal and business social accounts. It doesn't matter if you think you deleted it; it's likely still out there somewhere. Nothing dies on the Internet – and that's important to remember when your business exists in that same world.

Managing Your Business Social Media Presence Starts With Your Personal Social Media Life

If you're like most people, you use Facebook to catch up with friends and family – to get pictures from and communicate with folks that you don't interact with in the physical world on a regular basis. More and more we are also sharing news and information from a variety of sources on social media. The exchange of opinions and viewpoints can make for conversation, but it can also make for controversy.

This isn't about what is right or wrong / political party affiliation / or even personal opinion. It is about how you, as an agent of your business, appear to an outsider. Your online actions and words, whether you mean for them to do so or not, represent your brand.

"Does That Mean I Need to Get Off My Phone?"

You can have a social media life, but when managing your business social media presence it is important to think about ALL of your potential audience when you share content. That includes your family, friends, and complete strangers (which includes potential customers).

Take a stroll down memory lane via your social media history. Is there any opinion, like, photo, or piece of content that you wouldn't send directly to a prospective customer? Or to your mom? If you've said yes, then it is time to consider your options.

1. Change Your Accounts to Private

The quickest way to remove yourself from the public eye is via the privacy settings provided by every major social media platform. Chances are you already are connected to all of the friends and family you know at this point, so update your privacy settings to a "Private" mode. That means different things for different platforms. On Facebook, you have very fine controls – even allowing / denying access for your content based on the "Public" "Friends of Friends" or "Friends Only" sharing options.

You can become a virtual ghost – where no outsider can do a search and find you. If you want to continue posting carefree, this is a quick way to get that accomplished. So long as no one within your included circles takes a screenshot or otherwise shares your content, you can go off-grid socially speaking.

2. Sanitizing and Maintaining Current Accounts

If you are trying to become more forward facing with your social media persona, review your social platform history and clean up any questionable content with gusto. A picture of you with the family or on the job look great – that picture of you balancing a bottle on your head on New Year's Eve maybe not so much. Do a quick inventory, delete what isn't squeaky clean, and continue asking the "would I send this to a customer or to my mom" question before posting new content.

3. Look, but Don't Touch

Just like when you were a kid, remember that you can see with your eyes and not your hands. You can stay in contact with a select few people, but reserve the majority of your conversation for the real world. This makes it easy to keep a pulse on what your sister in Tulsa is up to while keeping your outbound social media presence as vanilla as possible.

4. Get Out of Dodge

Social media isn't for everybody. Not everyone is cut out for maintaining a social media account. If you can resist the impulse to share funny but raunchy pictures or video clips – perhaps it is time to pull the plug on your social media existence. Going cold turkey is the most extreme case, but if you need to – follow each platforms' instructions for removing or hiding all old content before you just walk away from it all.

Your Business Social Media Presence

Managing your business social media presence on the company side of things is two-fold. It is about 1) what you do as a company and 2) your policy for staff members regarding social media.

How Your Business Handles Social Media Activity

Posting on social media as a business creates a persona. The type of content that you post can shape how people perceive your organization. So it is important to keep that in mind when posting as a business. Developing a personality for your business online via social media can be a great marketing tool, but it can be equally damaging. Staying relevant and topical while staying safe is a fine line to walk. Avoid discord by straying from divisive content. There is enough good quality promotional and informational content for your business to more than satisfy your posting needs.

Keeping your activity in check is important too. That includes inbound and outbound social media communication. If you don't have the time to manage it yourself, you may consider social media marketing as another pair of eyes on the situation.

How Your Employees Use Social Media

Depending on your company size and the type of work you do, it may make sense for your business to have a social media policy in place. Whether it is the business owner, a manager, or a technician – if you share your employer info or pictures of yourself on social media – you are representing the business. An active employee providing pictures for your social media accounts and individual project posts can be a great strength – but an employee complaining about how they don't want to be on the job while on the job doesn't look so good.

"Why Does My Social Media Activity Matter?"

Today, there is massive transparency in social living. There is no more blurred line between personal and business. There is a possibility that whatever you say and do online can be saved and reshared without your permission – no matter where you say it. Every online interaction is documented for the world to see – so it is wise to make sure you look good.

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