Can you merge your business life with your social life?

blog 1 imageA very good friend of mine who lives in Sedona – Arizona has recently been globe-trotting the world on a series of learnings. I was fascinated to speak with her last week and we discussed many subjects and the topic lead into deep conversation on can you merge your business life with your social life.

With all the technology available online you have to ask think that this should be possible?
Social media enables you to have business associates and friends that are not dictated by geography or circumstance. And to me, the ability to find people with whom you have a kinship, regardless of where they live is an extraordinary opportunity.

There are relationships I have developed via the social Web that are incalculably helpful to me in business and personally. Some of those relationships transcend the Web, as I’ve been fortunate enough to put names to avatars with many of the people I have personification to know and respect online.

The big question that is often asked with corporations and business owners on social media strategy is “how do I balance my personal and professional life online?”
Surely, no one wants to know what I’m doing on the weekend?

Actually, they do. You have probably heard the saying that people don’t hire companies, they hire people. It is why “chemistry” with the client is so critical in professional services firms. Why would you not want to pre-establish chemistry and commonality with your prospective friends and clients online?

The fact is your personal and professional lives are colliding and integrating more and more and all the time.

In a socially connected world, where countless opinions and options are just a finger swipe on a mobile device away, differentiation is harder than ever.

Your personal life? Your professional life? One and the same. I know that’s often uncomfortable. But it’s the truth.

However, In theory, separation is a good thing. With more employers lurking on social profiles and more people over-sharing online, it just makes sense to keep some things private. However, the reality is that sometimes the online tools make it difficult to split your networks. Here are five tips to help you get closer.

1. Use different networks for different purposes
2. Create a Facebook personal profile AND brand page
3. Push your business contacts to Twitter
4. Tweak Facebook privacy settings
5. Take your private life offline altogether

It is a true fact that everything we share is in the “public domain,” so we need limit our shares, what we say or stop altogether. You can also judge the value of a social network based on how well it fits your content and strategy. If you create content that your audience loves, you’re likely to find your audience on social networks that love sharing your particular style of content—video, images, long-form, etc.

From: Jason DeMers at Search Engine Land
From: Jason DeMers at Search Engine Land

Here’s a helpful way of looking at it, courtesy of Jason DeMers at Search Engine Land. He broke down social networks into seven different types, each with their own characteristics.

1: Kitchen-sink networks: Twitter and Facebook

2: Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr.

3: Video networks: YouTube, Vimeo, Vine

4: Business-focused networks: LinkedIn

5: SEO and authorship networks: Google+

6: Location-based networks: Foursquare, Yelp

7: Niche networks: Reddit

Digital Insights
Digital Insights

According to data pulled together by Digital Insights, here’s the breakdown for the social networks with the most monthly active users:

Facebook: 1.28 billion
Google+: 540 million
Twitter: 255 million
Instagram: 200 million
LinkedIn: 187 million
Pinterest: 40 million

How do you keep your business life separate from your private life?

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