Would you want your prospective clients seeing those "What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" photos from your recent guy’s weekend? Of course not! If you are like most financial professionals, you want to be perceived as a financial advising expert by your current and future clients. If you are not careful, you could be over sharing those personal moments that may jeopardize your business.
It's funny to think that just a few years ago, it was considered inappropriate to use social media in the workplace. Now most companies use it for every day to drive business and share content. Because of this, there is a fine line between professional and personal accounts and sometimes it's hard to know if you've stepped over it or not.
Beyond the realm of using your personal accounts at home and your business accounts at work, there is the ever growing question of what is OK to share? We have come up with some of the most common gaps mind when it comes to social media in the workplace.
Minding the Gap Between Personal and Professional
When creating both personal and professional profiles for your social media channels, what can you do to ensure you are minding the gap between personal and professional?
For starters, only share professional content on your professional pages. This is not the place to post content you would forward to your friends or family. Jokes, funny videos and controversial topics (like your strong opinions on the Presidential race) are best left for your personal pages. You also want to make sure you are sharing from the right source. By checking out the original source of any content, you can save yourself from sharing something that belongs to a competitor or a scam site.
For any professional social media sites, you want to make sure you have a professional photo. Your LinkedIn photo should be a recent headshot of ONLY you. This is not the place for pictures of your new baby or the fishing trip you went on last summer. Your Facebook page should follow the same guidelines. If the page is just for you, then have a headshot as your profile picture and a logo or office image as your cover photo (the larger photo on top). For a business page simply having your logo as your profile picture is fine. Be sure your images only contain CURRENT employees.
When it comes to following or "friending" people or pages you want to tread carefully. While you may follow your favorite bars and restaurants on your personal Twitter page, avoid doing so on your professional page. A good rule of thumb is to do some due diligence before connecting with people or accepting their friend requests. On sites like LinkedIn, this isn't something that you generally have to worry about. However, Facebook and Twitter are another story. The person should have friends/followers, if there are none or not many then the person may have created an account simply to write something on your wall or feed. While you can moderate this it's better to stop it before it starts. Another telltale sign someone isn't who they are claiming to be is if they have an unusally large number of followers/friends.
Tip: On Facebook, in particular, don't forget to check your security preferences to be sure that you are only sharing with your friends. This will ensure that these photos do not show up for potential clients or worse show up in Google searches of your business!
When it comes to posting, anytime you don't feel 100% comfortable with what you are sharing or who you are "friending"/connecting with just don't do it. Check out our 2016 Social Media for Financial Advisors guide for more tips and best practices.