How do your tweets and status updates impact your job?

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With today’s day and age, everyone is online. All the time. We use social media for our personal and professional lives. LinkedIn is all about our professional connections and listing our work experience. And Facebook is for posting photos funny quips, rants, raves and photos of just about anything. Or is it?

If you are looking for a job, know that potential employers will “google” you. Even if your Facebook page is “private”, they can see your profile pic. Consider what your social media says about you in the professional arena.

I personally had a social media “whoa” moment at the APPL conference last week where I was speaking about how to engage the next gen (X & Y) in philanthropy. As I was encouraging the attendees to use social media – Facebook, Twitter, Blog, LinkedIn, etc. – I realized that I needed to take my own advice. I had not tweeted in 51 dayswhoops!

Part of this was due to a crisis of identity. I didn’t know how to distinguish my Facebook status posts from a tweet. Weren’t they basically the same? And to be honest, Twitter seems far more public than Facebook because folks can just start following me. I was quick to “unfollow” and block folks that I didn’t know on Twitter because I didn’t think they needed to know about my personal life or funny photos or observations about my life… when it hit me: my personal life.

Ah… well, that’s the conundrum of social media. Your personal life is public. In fact, we choose to make it public. Very much so.

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So, I decided to make Twitter my professional public image where I can tweet about this blog and other work related observations. I will allow everyone to “follow” me (except for that naked lady – nonprofits are a fully-clothed work place!) and I will work to “follow” more people.

I will still keep my silly Facebook page posts and pictures because I find them highly amusing. Yet, at the same time, as a consultant, I am always interviewing and people are looking at me through the public personal/professional lens online. So, I will need to be conscience on how I appear in the online public eye.

How do you handle your social media on a professional level? Does your boss “follow” you on twitter? Are your co-workers your friends on Facebook?

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