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10 differences between personal and business social media

6th May 2015

In this day and age most people will have some form of social media like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or Google+. We are all aware of companies using social media too! But do you know the difference between using a personal social media and a business one. In this blog we will talk about some of these differences.

Profile pictures

Profile Pictues

Profile pictures are a great thing on social media. Not only does it allow you to identify who you are talking with but it is also a great way to allow your logo to be seen a lot.
Let’s talk about what we can use as a profile picture. If it’s for your own personal account then you can use any picture you want, be it a fancy dress costume, a photo with your partner or a photo that was taken of you at an event. Using any of these is fine because people who will see it should be friends and family. However, can a business use personal photos or should they use their logo? We would advise a company to use their logo as much as possible. Not only is it an identity mark but it also advertises your company brand. You can also upload photos of staff members to galleries within the social media profile itself, if you wish to add a more personal look inside your company.


Posts

Twitter Posts

There are many differences between personal and business social media accounts, within a business you shouldn’t post personal thoughts like “finally my parcel has arrived at last…” But you could say “We are delighted to have received our order of new computers to help keep our company up to date with the latest technology”. The main difference between accounts is that when posting as a business you need to keep it professional and not post angry or emotional posts, whereas personal accounts are a lot more relaxed. Please remember that whatever you do post online is accessible to the public, including employers.

Terminology

Have you noticed that a lot of people on social media use different terminology rather than standard English on a personal account? Are you guilty of shortening words or using acronyms? We know that using it on a personal account is fine, but can you use it as a business? We would advise you not to- try not to create an informal post such as “FYI our e-mails are down but will be fixed today. BTW phones still works.” This does not portray the company in a professional light, on the other hand “just to inform you we are currently having issues with our e-mails. However our phone lines are still working and if you need to contact us please feel free to ring us on…..” is a much more professional way of saying it.

Contacts

Contacts

Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or another social network you use there will be a difference in who you follow/friend. With a personal account you can follow all of your friends and family as this is your personal account and it’s all about you.
With a business account, we believe that it is a little trickier as you have to be more selective on whom you follow because you want them to be able to help you grow and help your online presence. For example, here at Cosmic we have typical criteria that we like to try and use. A lot of people we follow or like are people we have met while networking, our client base (existing, past and potential) and our partners. We find this helpful as we know we can keep up to date with them by checking their social media feeds. This is more beneficial to a company than following a person who has no relation to the company or their work whatsoever.

Type of Page

Type of Page

As a business on Facebook you are able to have a page. With a Facebook page you are able to share content from your website and can have a wider network of people who can access your page as Facebook often shows you which pages people have liked. Twitter doesn’t have such an extensive page design however it does have an option called lists. This means you are able to select certain accounts and put them into a list, so that you click that list you will only see posts from members of that list. Always remember that even as a business you still want to have a certain identity about you as if your company was a person. Personality on social media will take you far further than sales orientated posts.

Search

Twitter Search

The search functions on Facebook and Twitter are great. Facebook gives you the option to search for people, pages and things. This is great because you can start typing a name and it will pop up with ideas of what you’re after. Twitter also has a search function and has a more advanced search function which allows you to search for people to follow and to search users that follow a specific account, this is great because you will be able to search for followers of specific accounts like organisations or even other businesses with in the same area.

Retweets and Sharing

Retweets and Sharing

Twitter and Facebook both allow you to share something someone else has already posted, be it a news article or a status update. However, what is the difference between doing this from a business account and a personal account? We know that there is a difference because on a personal account you are able to share what you want from an interesting news article, political news, interesting blogs to a funny picture. However, on a business account you need to think more about what you can and can’t share. We know that this is a very tricky situation as you do not want to share something that goes against your company’s views or values. However, by knowing what you can and can’t share you will be able to be a lot more active on social media. We recommend that if you are using social media for a business account, you can decide what sort of content you as a company would want to be associated with via social media and think carefully before sharing anything – always double check that it fits with your company’s personality. Maybe even come up with a list of things to share and things to steer clear of.

Hashtags

Hashtags

Hashtags are used by a lot of people on a daily basis via social media, but are you aware there are different ways to use them? Let’s take Twitter for example, which is well known for its incorporation of hashtags. As a personal user, let’s say you’ve been out with friends and bought a new printer for your home. You could post “Just went shopping with @jondoe147 and #bought myself a new #Printer from #Brother it looks great #Exciting” which is fine. However, as a company to say the same thing you could remove your friend from the post to make it seem more personal from the business itself, and also tag in the company you are talking about. For example, “We are very pleased to announce our new @Brothers printer has arrived and it is great!” As a business, this is the better way of doing this is by tagging Brother as they will be notified about it and it will appear on their page which means your company name will be mentioned on their account. Hashtags are a great way of marketing, but please make sure you are using the correct ones and are using them correctly - you can find a list of current trending hashtags via Twitter we would suggest checking that to see if one relates to you.

Staying in touch

Social media is a brilliant way to stay in touch regardless of whether it is a personal account or a business account. The difference between them is that on a personal account you can be updated with old friend’s lives - are they married? Where do they work? Are they still living close? These sort of questions are easily answered on social media as they can post about important events or some social media sites will have an ‘about me’ section. Using social media as a business, staying in touch is different because you can use it to keep up to date on partners or customers news, were they just awarded an award? Did they just write an amazing article? Are they advertising for new jobs or services they have? Staying in touch via social media is truly a great way to do it. You’re able to stay up to date with everyone and know what they are doing, whether it’s on a business or personal account.

Social media sites 

Social media sites

There are a lot of sites out there, but how do you know which ones to use? Well we recommend that a company should try all different levels of social media usage. There is Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest to name but a few. All of these are great services and can help you as an individual or as a company to grow. We personally suggest trying out Facebook and Twitter as these are easier to use, once you get comfy with these why not expand and try others to find out what your niche is for the business and on a personal level. Each one of these is different in what you are able to do with them and it’s a matter of trial and error to figure out which ones suit you and your business. Just remember there is no harm in trying things out if it doesn’t work you can always de-activate your account.

Here at Cosmic we can help with Social Media, if you’d like to learn more about how we can help, get in touch with the Cosmic team on 0845 094 6108, e-mail us on [email protected] or send us a tweet to @Cosmic_UK!