Silverpop - Can Social Be Too Social?
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Can Social Be Too Social?

by: Sarah Lander (@Silverpop)
19 June 2009

The buzz around social media is everywhere. Unless you're living under a rock in the far corners of Siberia (and who knows, Twitter might be alive and well there on the frigid ice fields as well), you're faced with social media outlets every day in both your personal and professional lives.

Recently, Silverpop has been involved with the Online Marketing Summit, crisscrossing the country as part of a multistate road show tour. If you're an online marketer, I highly recommend looking for a show in your area.

The topic of social media and its application in marketing has been a prevailing theme on the tour. One particular question really stood out to me and has been in my head ever since I heard it, so I'm looking to the larger Silverpop audience to hear your thoughts.

An audience participant stated, "I struggle with whether or not I should have both a corporate and a private persona in the social media space or if it's OK to have one that applies to both."

I struggled with this same question myself. My Facebook profile existed purely for personal purposes. But then the lines started to blur when my professional contacts began to send Friend requests to my Facebook account. I really had to pause for a moment. It's not like I had incriminating keg stand photos in my profile pictures, but did I really want my co-workers and professional connections to read a status update about a moment with my family?

The result (for those who are burning to know) is that I concluded it was OK to blur the lines to a degree. For me personally, considering how heavily embraced social media is with the majority of my professional network, it was an opportunity to really humanize and bring personality into the work equation. For others this might not be the right approach. I did take steps to create separate Friend lists that can only see certain aspects of my profile, but for the most part I opted to stay transparent.

So as social media increasingly plays into the everyday moments of today's B2B marketers, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Strictly separate professional and personal, or is there opportunity to bring the two together?


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