Balance or Separation: Managing Professional & Personal Social Media Pages | Part 2

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In a bid to be conscious of our thoughts, actions and followers – persons make the decision to create a “balance” in their lives by separating their personalities, ideas and interests. But is separation balance or dishonesty? As we strive to ensure that the right followers get the “right” information (through the separation of our accounts) are we also in the same breath hiding information?

When you decided to enter the professional world, the world that decided that “toosexy4u@hotmail.com”, wild drunk poses as profile pictures and curse words won’t be acceptable – did you delete these things, start new accounts or increase your privacy settings to keep inquisitive eyes at bay?

No matter your response, or your current role in life (personal or professional) you are the representative of your own brand firstly. All other roles are secondary. So is the separation of your personal and professional social media pages really necessary? Some will still say yes, and we will discuss why.

As promised from our previous post, where we discussed balancing of social media accounts – this time around we have to discuss the pros and cons of separating. The concept of setting targets, guidelines and structure to how our online presence is assessed.

Pros of Separating Accounts

  • Focused. Content posted will be inextricably linked to the business – services, deals, tips, news, staff, etc.
  • Once your posts have personality, followers are sure of the type of content to expect, and you are certain that the followers have some interest in the business.
  • You now have a targeted group of persons to which you can share or pitch the services of your business.
  • Targets for growth can be set for the professional accounts.
  • You now have control of the persons who are allowed in your personal space (through privacy settings), while being able to leave the professional account open.
  • Clear work-life boundaries.

Cons of Separating Accounts

  • Hard to manage. Will you always remember to devote equal time to each brand.
  • As a small business, you might need to hire someone to manage the professional account on your behalf. This may not necessarily be very cost effective for a new business.
  • Are you being viewed as being dishonest by separating (hiding) an account from followers.

Social media accounts require a professional human, lol. Weird term, I know. But it’s true. We want to live our lives on social media, socializing and being entertained, but at the same time with enough decorum that when our employers view our pages we can still look them straight in the eyes the next day and not have the slightest embarrassing moment.

So how do we do this?

By separating our accounts or balancing all personalities in the social online sphere? In making this choice, be sure to remember, that whatever you post online is no longer yours. It can almost be likened to sending a text message which you can’t erase from the receiver. And no matter your life long aim to separate your accounts, the right investigator can uncover what you have been trying so ‘hard’ to hide.

It’s Pixel Perfect’s Managing Director, Conrad Mathison, was recently put on the spot by Wealth Magazine, and asked his views on this very topic. He will share pertinent points from his “panel discussion to guest speaker” at Corporate Mingle presentation. His thoughts, as a young entrepreneur, socialite, friend, brother, son should be even more enlightening. Is he balancing or separating? Will he even choose a side? All will be revealed in his blog post.

Balance or Separation: Managing Professional & Personal Social Media Pages | Part 1

Displaying social.jpgHave you ever made an error in posting something on a professional account that was meant for a personal account? 

Do you have two separate twitter accounts, one for personal views and the other for professional?

Is there or should there be a social media etiquette guide for personal accounts?

Do personal accounts need filters?

Is trolling from professional accounts a good thing?

What type of personality should professional accounts have?

Are you sinking in your online presence?

Personal …. Personable …. Automation. Who do your followers want to see?

Is striking the balance necessary for you or your followers?

Do you use social media at work?

Is it against the work policy to use social media on the job?

Is two accounts too much?

Do you follow a business owner’s personal account to (a) hear/read/watch about his business, (b) get to know him personally or (c) both?

To build your best online presence, do you have to be separate people?


As you can see, this blog post had me in a whirlwind of thoughts, and piecing it together even more difficult. So yes, one blog post on this topic won’t do. As one’s social presence evolves, and the necessity and use of it almost inseparable – how do you plan to cope? Can there be a balance in your personal and professional social media accounts? Or is there the need for separation of these two personas?

(Small) business owners are faced with this challenge more than regular employees who are not obligated to devote their lives to their job/career. But then CEOs are the faces of the companies (they don’t even own) and are (more often than not) subjected to the scrutiny and watchful eyes of their followers. Journalists might feel the need to separate their lives to ensure that newsworthy posts are not lost among the traffic of mundane tweets.

How do you decide what goes where? Or are we now boxing everything and shelving them, living by the phrase “there is a time and place for everything”?

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In today’s post, we will examine the pros and cons of striking the balance of managing both professional and personal accounts in one. We will then do Part 2 of this post, with the pros and cons of separating both personas.

Pros of Balancing

  • Individual is able to consciously streamline and control the type of content in their online presence.
  • Individual is able to show a personable side that followers may not see otherwise.
  • Less stressful, in trying to actively maintain multiple accounts
  • Transparent lifestyle. Who you are in person is who people will see online.
  • Followers are interested in both your views on professional and personal encounters.

Cons of Balancing

  • Highly unlikely that you can do this effectively. One persona possibly professional will dominate the social media platforms.
  • Lines of interaction may become blurred, between professional and personal conversations. Not everyone is able to make a smooth transition between the two.
  • Hard to build and maintain personal relationships when all and sundry are able to follow and connect with you.
  • Possibility of becoming so filtered, that you are borderline automated.
  • Possibility of having no filters or limits, that views expressed could affect business interactions.


Even in writing the pros and cons, things got complicated:

In striking a balance with the management of your social media accounts … does that mean using one user name for all platforms and split each persona across the platforms: Facebook (personal), twitter (personal & professional), linkedin (professional), youtube (professional), pinterest (professional)?

Or does it mean balancing both personas on every single platform, so all information posted can be shared across any online interface?

For the purpose of this blog, we took balance to mean the latter, but the above question is still valid, as balance is defined as “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.” Now if you use 6 platforms and dedicate half to personal interactions and the other half to professional, that seems about balanced to me. What say you?

As we continue to have this discussion, feel free to chime in on the pros and cons mentioned, answer any of the questions asked at the beginning, or share your general views/experiences on the topic.

Until next time …. are you balancing or separating?