This week’s question comes from Lindsey, who asks, “My husband is opening a food truck with two guys he just finished culinary school with. I had some success with social media as a lifestyle and mommy blogger, so I’m going to help the effort with social media promotion, then move to more traditional PR as the chefs start seeing profits, hopefully soon. Should I use my current social media accounts to start promotions, or set up new accounts, even if that means beginning at zero.”
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If wise men really did say, ‘Only fools rush in,’ then the vast major of the world was not listening as social media began to take hold.
Now, the consequence of our naive actions setting up our Friendster accounts are coming back to haunt us, as our cultivated bad online habits are having real consequences in our personal lives and the world around us.
I’m not sure I can save the world from armies of Russian bots, but I can offer a piece of social media management advice for all of you who had decided to jump into the world of selling stuff online.
We all need to live separate lives, especially in our digital offerings. Separating your real life with your totally imperfect family and friends and overly filtered, overly staged, overly beautiful brand persona, and the fabulous attachments that supposedly go along with it.
It’s totally okay to sell the overly positive to anyone willing to buy it. That’s why Coca-Cola spends billions of dollars in advertising every year. But you won’t see an embarrassing selfie of Dale from Accounting singing at a karaoke bar on a random Saturday night showing up in any of the corporate social media account feed.
Set up separate social media presences for your private family life that is not attached to your brand(s).
For Facebook, you will set up a page or group separate from the main profile you use to log in. You will not make an entirely new ‘profile’ to interact as your brand. Pages and groups were created to talk about and promote what you are selling, even if that is yourself as a personality. You will never use these tools to post random real-life family stuff. Strategically curated family stuff is perfectly fine. Likewise, don’t go selling your products and services on your personal profile. Facebook distinctly forbids this. Now.
For Instagram, go to the settings and turn your account into a business account so that you can get extra stats and benefits. The greatest benefit is the ability to create and link separate accounts to the same login for ease of use. Once you’ve established which account is for which, keep family stuff on the personal account and promotion stuff on the promotional accounts. This set up lets you easily swap between accounts on the app so that you can keep your online lives separate, but effectively managed. Just make sure you select the right account to post to at the right time.
For Twitter, you will have to set up a separate account with a separate email address. Same rules apply to managing your postings, but if you are not using an app that lets you access multiple accounts, you will have to log off and swap accounts to get the right one.
For people who run small businesses out of your home, but choose to rent out a P.O. Box for mail and a conference room for meetings to give you a guise of professionalism when dealing with correspondence, they will totally understand the need to create new landing pages in social media to separate you as a person and you as a business person.
For you and your past life in lifestyle and mommy blogging, you may one day want to take up those as your brand again, or you may want to let it live as your diary of things past mixed with a catalog of the current and future. You do not want it to be overtaken by your husband and two dudes running a food truck.
Set up separate accounts for the food truck, and if you’re feeling adventurous, personalities for the guys, separately or as a trio, to use as a different branding tool. You can use what is left of your fame to promote the truck and the guys, or you can use your personal influence to promote the truck and the guys. However you see yourself, and those accounts at this stage in life determine, but do not mix any other brands or personalities in the feeds with the one you’ve already established.
This Week’s Business Questions Asked Here: Are You Running Separate Social Media Accounts For Yourself And Your Business? (answer in the comments)
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