How Writers Handle Personal and Professional Lives in Social Media

Image credit: Stephen Eastop

Can You Be Personal and Professional in Social Media? discusses how to balance the personal with the professional. Mixing the two makes sense for most freelance writers because we’re in business for ourselves. Who we are is what makes us unique. No one can copy our formula that makes up our human brand. And that brand includes our personality that comes from both parts of our lives.
Many writers comment that they’re not sure how to handle the personal and professional in social media. Some have a Facebook page for business and share their personal page only with friends and family. Some have two or more Twitter identities where one has the personal tweets and the other is all business.
Naturally, I asked writers in Twitter how they handle the personal and professional in social media. They responded:
Gina Blitstein (@ginabee): My personal and professional are one and the same so to quote a famous sailor, “I yam what I yam & that’s all what I yam…”
Allison Winn Scotch (@aswinn): I keep FB totally personal-whittling it down now in fact-but embrace blog, Twitter, etc as way to meet readers. FWIW, publicist told me two accounts on FB is pointless, as people friend both.
Karen Cecili (@karen_cecilia): Separate accounts. Don’t respond to a professional account after logical business hours. But personal ones yes.
@WarLordwrites: You might need separate accounts unless your writing blends your life and professional interests.
Linda Dessau (@lindadessau)>: I’m still separating them – Facebook = personal, Twitter & LinkedIn = professional. But I may start a Facebook fan page.
John Easton (@jeaston1): I handle the personal/professional but keeping separate accounts.
For me, as a freelancer with different clients, I combine the two. Content can spill over even behind closed doors and with strict privacy settings, so I take care in what I say online — no matter my career. I lean toward a 75:25 business to personal ratio in my Twitter postings during the week and the other way around on weekends or maybe 50:50. Facebook updates split in the middle between business and personal.
How about you? How do you handle the personal and professional in social media?
Find me on Twitter @merylkevans.

11 thoughts on “How Writers Handle Personal and Professional Lives in Social Media”

  1. I have two Twitter accounts, but the professional one is in the name of the organization so that it could be utilized by others in the organization or if I left.
    Facebook is personal and there is a separate Facebook account for my organization. I do not handle the day-to-day on the FB site but do look at content and am responsible for managing who is allowed to friend the organization.

  2. I manage a few client social media accounts for clients so I’m just too tired to switch gears yet again in my own accounts. I’m personally professional everywhere. I treat it all like the public place it is so I use my “outdoor manners” (which in all honesty are pretty much my indoor manners too) but I really am fully myself everywhere. If I had the energy I’d figure out a better ratio, but I don’t.
    .-= Karen Swim’s blog …Unleash Your Passion for a Perfect Performance =-.

  3. @Deborah, good thinking ahead. Some people struggle when they leave an organization. That’s why it’s important for corporate workers who tweet for companies to think about these things.
    @Karen, I know the feeling. I help clients with their social media activities, too. Really, it’s best for me to be one person. Except I have two Twitter IDs, one for chat when I have too many tweets coming in a short time.
    @morosiaka, you’re ahead of the game. You’re thinking about the important things.

  4. @Heather, always nice to meet another fellow Texan. One step at a time. It’ll pay off.
    @George, I was surprised how many people said they split the two as most of the people I know like you tend to combine them.

  5. Meryl,
    Thank you for reaching out on Twitter for the blog post input. While I do keep separate accounts as stated above, I must admit that I do mix some personal communication with the professional. Heck, I am human and a social creature by nature so being personable only enhances the professional (smile).
    I like to add value with each social media outreach (blogging, Twitter, FB, etc), so I refrain from the “what soda I am drinking now” updates. Blog on Meryl.
    .-= John Easton’s blog …Make Your Networking Work! =-.


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