Back in the digital stone age (pre-facebook) I often found the digital footprint of those online to be quite fake and false. Kind of like a dating site where people describe themselves as being how they would like to see themselves – then ultimately failing to live up to those expectations in real life. Then came Facebook and we all became totally transparent, sharing, commenting, saying who we’d dated and not really giving a shit about privacy and what we were revealing. Then came LinkedIn (in a bigger way, it’s been around longer than you think) and we upped our game professionally, enhancing our CVs, whilst at the same time, restricting who saw what on our Facebook. Somehow Twitter sort of sits in between, but that’s a discussion for another day.
My point is, is that we now have quite separate and distinct online profiles. Or personal and professional if you like. You don’t talk to your boss about the new band that you like so you don’t post links to tour dates on to LinkedIn, and you probably don’t talk to your friends about your company’s new brochure, so you don’t post it on to Facebook. We know the rules and boundaries and generally, we’re all a lot more savvy than we were 2-3 years ago (raise your hands if you lock your Twitter when applying for a new job? Thought so ;)).
So, we’ve got the personal and professional lives nailed, in a social networking context. But there’s one area of our lives that is difficult to transfer online, and it’s not something that we give a lot of consideration to – your private life.
Earlier this year I made a decision that has completely changed my life. Those of you who I see in real life on a regular basis know what I’m talking about however this is a complete mystery to the majority. It really hammered home to me how important it is to manage various aspects of your life and ensure that all content that you produce online really is relevant to your audience – whether it you brand you, or brand business. As a business, you keep the internal stuff internal. All the politics and hassle that goes into producing the final product is all kept in house and all that the audience sees is the finished product. And I think the same applies when you are posting content on to social media as an individual. Is what you are saying relevant to your audience? If you start posting really personal things, you’ll turn your audience off and you’ll stop getting through to them.
If you ever have any doubts about whether your postings are relevant to your audience, maybe don’t post it. It probably should be kept in house.