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Managing personal and professional identities (with Speaker Notes)

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Did a colleague friend you on Facebook? Is your LinkedIn profile a resume? In our increasingly complex and overlapping information world, understanding how to balance your personal and professional …

Did a colleague friend you on Facebook? Is your LinkedIn profile a resume? In our increasingly complex and overlapping information world, understanding how to balance your personal and professional personas is critical.

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  • We all represent multiple different personas. In our personal lives we have relationships with family and friends, we have hobbies and interests, sports teams, and passions. Similarly, in our professional lives we have relationships with colleagues, interests, a job role, possibly a job that we aspire to, skills, organizational alliance, etc. Sometimes these two worlds overlap … and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they should … and sometimes they probably shouldn’t. While there aren’t too many hard and fast rules, there are some general rules of the road.
  • One way to draw the line is by social media property. Most people use facebook for personal use, and LinkedIn for professional. If you think you’ll use a property for both, you can either create two different profiles (e.g. one for work and one for your personal life) or some properties allow you to set up groups to restrict who sees what.
  • Now let’s look at what are the benefits and shortcoming of keeping separate identities Pros to Keeping Your Identities Separate Privacy – You can be on your own and share whatever you feel like without worrying about anyone to see (apart from your close friends) and yet your professional network remains as crisp as it can get Professional Appearance – Your professional presence will be all about work hence better image management at work Control – You would have control of what you wish to share. Your office colleagues will not be bothered with where you are checking in and eating. Cons to Keeping Your Identities Separate Extra work – You would have to maintain 2 separate account everywhere and that needs extra effort. False information – You would be required to provide fake information to create a separate account. Sometimes creating 2 identities is treated as providing false information by potential employers and law enforcement agencies. If one person can make 2 accounts, how can they be trusted for not making more! Divides the network – Your contacts and network will be split into 2 or more groups which adversely affects your digital image and mutual knowledge. You may find yourself excluding influential/powerful people who can help you because they're friends or family. If you let them in to both, however, it may defeat the whole point. Let’s look at how you can integrate both lives and yet stay professional…
  • For each social media property, decide on the approximate mix between personal and professional information that you will share and participate in. The exact blend of professional versus personal can vary from one social media property to the next, but there should be continuity between profiles. This also means that you should be consistent between social media properties – e.g. use the same profile picture (so that people can identify that you are the same “you” across multiple properties) and identify yourself consistently across properties. You might emphasize or de-emphasize different parts of yourself from one social media property to the next, but you should not be two completely different people. While studies have shown that people behave and think differently online vs. offline (using avatars, secret identities, etc.), the IBM Social Computing Guidelines clearly prohibit this kind of behavior for us as IBMers. We are to be transparent and authentic in all of our communications – always revealing our personal identities, professional affiliation (we work for IBM but are not the voice of IBM), and being mindful that – as such – we are always representatives of the IBM brand.
  • Even if you are very careful about who you share information with, those individuals can then share your information with whoever they want. Even with the best of intent, social media companies have had bugs in their code which inadvertently shared private information publicly. (example from Twitter in 2008: http://techcrunch.com/2008/04/23/privacy-disaster-at-twitter-direct-messages-exposed/) In the event that you share something and then later want to remove it, it is virtually impossible to be sure that you have removed all instances of that sharing. http://socialmediainfluence.com/2012/09/25/facebook-privacy-breach-nope-we-brought-it-on-ourselves/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/onmarketing/2012/04/24/social-media-privacy-a-contradiction-in-terms/
  • You are known by what you share AND what you don’t share … where you participate AND where you are absent; when you respond and when you don’t respond
  • People trust *people*. Even in social media, people interact with other people. We are very adept at sniffing out advertisements and ignoring them. Even among those who use social media primarily for work, the most effective people blend their personal with professional – allow a little bit of their unique self to shine through. This is a word cloud from Daryl Pereira’s (@cagedether) tweets. Lots of IBM words in there – but also a reference to the “Warriors” and to music
  • There is no “perfect” formula – the bottom line is that you need to find a balance that you’re comfortable with and that works for you.
  • First consider *why* you are using Twitter – what is your goal? E.g. To amplify thought leaders? to allow others to engage with you? To build relationships? To promote your blog / interests? If you are considering two Twitter handles (one for business, one for personal) – do you have time to maintain two Twitter handles? You will also have to be very careful about everything you tweet, ensuring that you’re tweeting from the “right” handle – which somewhat violates the idea behind tweeting. There are tools that can help (e.g. Hootsuite, etc.), but you will still need to confirm which handle you’re using prior to tweeting.
  • That being said, it’s often a good best practice to allow a little bit of your “self” filter through your professional persona. It lets people know who you are and potentially connect with you at a personal level. Also, you may come across things from your professional life that you think people in your personal life might be interested in. Khalid includes blog entries from his travel adventures in his blog, but he categorizes them separately so that his readers can choose whether or not they want to read those entries.
  • Ryan is the social media strategist for AIM. Here’s his business card: http://flavors.me/rab – very professional, but you get a sense of the complete picture of who Ryan is in a very tasteful and professional way.
  • Links to social media strategies Link to Blue Galaxy
  • Transcript

    • 1. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM CorporationIBM Social Engagement and Insights ProgramJeanette FuccellaKhalid RazaRobin S LangfordDigital Persona Management
    • 2. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation2Learning Objectives• How to differentiate my professional self and my personal self onsocial media platforms• How to shape my digital profile to accurately reflect who I amwithout sacrificing privacy• What does it mean to act professionally in social media networks?• Are there tips that help me decide what to share where?
    • 3. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation3Who are you?
    • 4. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation4Personal vs. Professional: where do you drawthe line?
    • 5. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation5Personal vs. Professional: where do you drawthe line?Pros to Keeping Your IdentitiesSeparate1.Privacy2.Professional Appearance3.ControlCons to Keeping Your IdentitiesSeparate1.Extra work2.Fake Information3.Divided network
    • 6. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation6Guidelines, suggestions, recommendationsEstablish yourdigital profileand beconsistent
    • 7. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation7Guidelines, suggestions, recommendationsNothing is truly private once youshare it via social media
    • 8. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation8Guidelines, suggestions, recommendationsEVERYTHING you dodefines who you areand shapes yourdigital footprint
    • 9. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation9Guidelines, suggestions, recommendationsDistinguish between professionalism andbeing an advertisement for IBM
    • 10. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation10Guidelines, suggestions, recommendationsBottom line: Use yourpersonal comfort level asa guide
    • 11. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation11Specific social media properties:Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook•Twitter: One handle or two?•Facebook: no, it’s not ok to post pictures of you drunk at a party•LinkedIn: Generally used for business•Google Plus: Use circles to segment your audience
    • 12. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation12Allow a little bit of yourself to show through
    • 13. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation13Allow a little bit of yourself to show through
    • 14. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM Corporation14Be who are – people identify with peoplehttp://turbotodd.com/
    • 15. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM CorporationFinal NotesFeedback15http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TY8JPK8We value your feedback!Please take a moment to complete ourfeedback survey.
    • 16. Click to edit Master title style© 2013 IBM CorporationFinal NotesResources + References16This module was created by:Jeanette FuccellaSocial Insights and Engagement@jfuccella www.linkedin.com/in/jfuccella/Khalid RazaSocial Business Program Manager, IBM Diversity and Workforce Policy@khalidraza9 in.linkedin.com/in/khalidraza9/Social Computing Guidelineshttp://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.htmlSecure Computing Guidelineshttp://w3.ibm.com/ibm/securecomputing/