For the most part of my life I’ve used all communication channels to advertise my life. iMod Blog was started many moons ago as a channel to keep my friends updated with my life and to assist others with all things digital and marketing, as well as the odd things here or there. Facebook and Twitter came along and I found myself following a very similar pattern for information distribution. I have no complaints nor problems, it was all about putting information out there that I felt was useful, funny or interesting. Of course, I used the channels for engagement too be it assisting someone, discussing a topic or the likes.
Today, or at least the last several months, I’ve found myself in an interesting position – what information should I share and through which channel. This all came into play when I started a company – clients find your Twitter handle and they take a peak, service providers friend you on Facebook and watch your updates, there are suddenly far more eyes on deck. It didn’t feel like this when I was employed, I was always careful about my image, but now it seems more important than ever. Deciding what to share and where is far more difficult than imagined.
There are folks who run and work for digital agencies around the world that I have huge respect for; they’re leaders in their industries and I follow them like a hawk to see what they’re doing and how they do things. Now, I don’t believe in replicating what someone else does at all as I believe individuality is crucial is being successful through carisma and the likes, but we’re mammals that learn by nature and if you’re following the right people you’re learning, so learning how others do things is important, for me at least. I started following a gentleman called John Doherty, he’s an SEO who works for a great company in New York City that does all things SEO, but he’s also a photographer and someone who loves to travel (even if it’s on his bicycle on the way to work). John’s a great guy and I really hope he doesn’t mind me writing about him here (bet he’ll be stoked about the backlink though, ha ha). Now, John preaches all things SEO, he’s an optimist and in my opinion he’s very intelligent, but not only in SEO, many other things too. His Twitter account consists of 90% inbound marketing stuff (doesn’t help that at the time of this post his second most recent tweet is about Kim Jong Un being the sexiest man in 2012), but take my word for it, 90% of his tweets are inbound marketing related with a strong focus on SEO. It’s not often that I see him tweet about things that are more personal and I start to wonder whether that’s the best approach.
(ok ok, enough about John now)
That is to say, keep your work interest related matters to the public forum that is Twitter and keep your more personal items to Facebook, where you have more control over privacy, lists and such? Do you put your personal information through Facebook and your carefully curate your Twitter account? I selected a handful of other people who are located closer to home and who run businesses and I definitely see a trend whereby the general message being put out on their Twitter account is business/work related, with the occasional twitpic of a sunset and the likes. I also ran a small test where I asked a handful of Twitter users questions that were somewhat off the work/business topic and was interested in seeing that 80% of them replied to me via DM rather than in the public space – the questions weren’t terribly personal either. Of course, keeping a topic (read: niche) going on a Twitter account is a great way to gain followers who are like minded, for example, if I engage in a discussion around SEO, get followed and then blog about my new shoes or going out to a party or falling off a chair whilst being drunk, they’ll probably decide to unfollow me, whereas, those people on Facebook are meant to be “friends” (oh how that makes me laugh) and would therefore appreciate the more personal updates.
I’m not going to get onto the topic of blogging, because for me that’s far bigger, I would need to password protect my personal posts and only grant access to those who ask and that’s a story for another day, but Twitter and Facebook, and the separation of information definitely does intrigue me and I’m fascinated by what people are doing. I read a fantastic article the other day shared by Gino Cosme (I think it was) entitled, “5 Reasons Why Your Online Presence Will Replace Your Resume in 10 years” and that something else that sparked this whole quest to find the best mix of what goes where.
Ultimately, I don’t think there’s a correct answer and it all boils down to what we choose to share, but if we’re moving into a day and age (we’re there already) where we’re represented so heavily through our social interactions and communications, I do believe that this is a topic with value and is worth the discussion.
What’s your opinion?