For every social media success, there are multiple disasters that receive 10 times the publicity. It pays, therefore, to remember that while social media offers fantastic opportunities for business, networking and professional development, it is also a fragile and powerful tool that needs special care and consideration.
Most practitioners encourage social media newbies to be themselves. There is no doubt that your audience/customers identify better with a face than a brand, but there is great danger in going too far.
If you’re representing your company, brand or product, always keep that in mind when communicating under their banner. Leave your hang-ups and politics at home, and focus on your company’s goal. Even when you’re communicating under your personal brand, be careful with how tightly you integrate. It may be handy to connect your Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and Facebook accounts — but if you’re known to make faces at the camera or have ever donned a lampshade as a hat, you might want to rethink who has access to your profile. It might be an old college buddy, but it could also be your next employer.
Now let’s hear from you: Is the intersection of personal and professional via social media more likely to create opportunity or disaster?
Comment below to tell us what you think and why — in 140 characters or less (Tweet-length). We’ll run the five best responses (along with your name, website and Twitter handle, if you so choose) in SmartBrief on Social Media, right here on our SmartBlog and via @sbosm.