We’ve discussed social media on this blog in broad terms: how to use social media as a marketing tool, how to determine which platform to use for corporate messaging, and how to develop a successful social media campaign. But when it all comes down to it, social media is used by individuals—not only corporate entities. So, how should you as an individual represent your company on social media? The answer is multilayered and requires strategy and commitment, just as much as a standard corporate marketing plan.
- Separate your social and professional online identities. There is definitely room for both the professional you and the personal you on social media, and how you choose to intermingle those audiences is up to you. However, like we’ve discussed in previous posts, the way you use social media may not be appropriate for all audiences. It’s likely your executive leadership and human resources personnel have already established a social media policy. Check your handbook or ask your HR director for specific directives about what kind of activity is welcome (sharing your company’s social posts) and what isn’t (checking in at the office using inappropriate language or photos). The bottom line is you get to choose who you connect to on social media, so don’t feel pressured to accept a request from a co-worker and don’t pressure others to connect with you.
- Take advantage of professional networks. LinkedIn is one of the first public professional social media platforms. It allows people to stay connected to past and present professional friends and acquaintances and even find opportunities through previously unknown mutual connections. LinkedIn celebrates professionalism and online engagement, so if you want to increase your individual professional online presence, creating a LinkedIn profile and engaging with others in your industry is a key step. This is definitely the space to be sharing your company’s social posts and talking up its capabilities. There may also be private professional social networks specific to your industry. Find out what your colleagues are using to stay connected.
- Engage—professionally—with your company and your clients. Engagement is the fundamental element of success on social media. When your company engages with visitors and commenters, be sure you’re staying involved, too. Retweet and like posts and engage with commenters, but only if you know what you’re talking about. Don’t take an official position or make a commitment unless you’ve cleared it with your manager. Engaging with your own company’s posts does a lot of good for everyone involved! It boosts your company’s visibility, as well as your own, and shows both audiences that you take pride in your company’s message.
Having two online identities to keep your professional and personal lives separate is definitely a smart way to navigate the fine lines of social media. Be sure to use your professional identity to engaging with your co-workers and your company. It’s as easy as clicking ‘like.’