When you’re the director of a startup, your business is synonymous with you. There is no anonymity, so your personal social media needs to be as professional as your business. Even if you’re not a CEO, the likelihood is that throughout your professional life, people will look you up, whether it’s on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. Unless you have your profile so heavily locked down in privacy settings that your own mom can’t find you, you’re going to want the image you put out to be one of professionalism. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to ensure you’re giving people the right first impression.
Who Is A Good Social Media Role Model?
When you’re deciding how to play your social media game and toying with the idea of locking it down hard or smartening it up, consider your professional role models. Take a look at people like Chris Pivik and other professionals who use their social media to put across the image that makes them seem trustworthy and sincere.
Who Can See My Content?
This is the point at which you decide whether to lock it down, or smarten it up. Many people find it more appropriate to run a personal social media account, which is heavily limited by its privacy settings so there is a lessened risk of it falling into the wrong hands, and then running a professional account separately. Just remember, if you do choose this route, nothing on the internet is truly private, so don’t risk problems in the future by uploading photographs of yourself in compromising situations.
Would Anyone Find It Inappropriate?
When you post on your social media, think long and hard about whether anyone will find your content inappropriate. While it might not personally upset you, it could upset people who are important to you, or even just be slightly unprofessional and cause a potential crisis. Don’t post anything which could be misconstrued or cause problems – it isn’t worth it in the long run.
Would I Hire Myself?
Take a step back, and scroll through the last few weeks of your social media. Pretend it isn’t you that posted these things. Would you hire yourself? Too many photos of you partying or acting up can make you seem lacking in professionalism, and frankly, if you wouldn’t hire yourself based on your content, it probably isn’t the image you want to put out there of yourself. Too much swearing, childish jokes, or even political rants can create negative opinions. For a professional image ensure your postings are neutral, relevant, not personal, and interesting.
Your social media should be an extension of the image you put out there of yourself in day to day life. Anything you wouldn’t say outright in a business meeting shouldn’t be on your social media. It’s the perfect opportunity to create the persona you want to put across, including setting yourself apart from the competition as someone who is genuinely knowledgeable in the field with relevant blog posts and articles. So, step back and think to yourself: how professional is my social media?
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