How to Keep Your Business Side Separate Using social media professionally can be rewarding but dicey. How do you keep your personal information, well, personal? Get Social
Get Social  |   May 01, 2014
How to Keep Your Business Side Separate
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Article Information
Telepractice & Computer-Based Approaches / Get Social
Get Social   |   May 01, 2014
How to Keep Your Business Side Separate
The ASHA Leader, May 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/
The ASHA Leader, May 2014, Vol. 19, online only. doi:10.1044/
After seeing every last frozen cocktail from your college roommate’s vacation or a flipbook of photos showing your coworker’s baby taking a first bite of rice cereal, or hearing stories of compromising college photos haunting a job search, it’s easy to believe that any online social media presence will put you on par with the Kardashians. When did the lines of privacy become so blurred?
Setting aside larger political issues, and assuming you aren’t ready to go completely off the grid, social media can be a haven for professional discourse and an opportunity to share your opinions and gain others’ professional insights.
Those not already active on Twitter or Facebook may fear that once you start, you are somehow “out there” on the Internet. Out there where every last comment or photo has the potential to cause regret and where lurking boogeymen are waiting to scoop up your personal information to cause you harm. Here’s the bad news: You’re already “out there” unless you are actively removing yourself from all directories and publications you’ve been in, and untagging yourself from photos that other people have posted on their Facebook pages. Still think this isn’t you? You know your dismal time from the 5K last fall when you were getting the flu, but didn’t know it yet? I’m sure it’s available online. Go check. We’ll wait.
So here’s the thing: It is possible to gain control over your online persona through responsible social media activity. With the right approach, you can not only gain all the benefits it has to offer, but you’ll have more opportunity to control what is seen first when you’re Googled.
Facebook: This one requires the most attention to separate your personal from your business profile. Although it is possible to create a Facebook account only for business it will be limited in terms of your ability to connect and interact, which is the reason you’re on social media! In most cases, your business account will be a page managed from your personal account.
Privacy settings change frequently, but you will want to take a careful look (and check back periodically) at Facebook’s policies. A couple clicks will allow you to make individual personal posts private or limited, but you need to do it manually. Once a post is public, it is in the public domain and can be viewed and shared by anyone. Though you always have the option to remove a post, if it’s been shared on another’s timeline, it is still “out there.”
Twitter: Separation of personal and business personas is easier on Twitter. Simply create an entirely different account for your business and make sure you’re tweeting from the correct account.
Pinterest: Again, you have the option to have a separate business and personal account, but if that’s too much for you, you have the option to create “secret boards” that are for your eyes only or for those who you’ve invited to view the board. Note that if you chose later to make the board public, it can’t be undone. Also, if you are commenting on someone else’s “secret board” and the person chooses to make that board public at any time, your comments will become public as well.
Although my blog readers know me fairly well professionally, they know very little about my personal life. I’m very careful about what I share online; and it’s much less than I would if I were to work with someone in an office setting. My rule of thumb: Would I “share” this with the cashier at the grocery store or with my mom’s best friend? Would I want it on a large screen at ASHA? If the answer is “no,” it doesn’t go up.
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May 2014
Volume 19, Issue 5