Social Media – Oversharing


“If you provide a valuable product or service to your community, they will support you.”

I’ve written a lot about how to identify or create “your community” and how to find out what they feel is valuable. Social Media like Facebook and LinkedIn pose some great opportunities to do this, but there’s a pitfall for businesspeople in “oversharing.” It is important, and simple to carefully control what your potential customers are seeing.

Often, but not always, your community, the people and companies your business services, are connected to you on Facebook and Linked In. Because of this, they can have insights into your personal life that may not be favorable to your business. For example, when I see that you “liked” a post about a political candidate that I don’t, it could impact our business relationship. Take a look at your recent posts. Do they show you to be the hardworking, devoted, stable person they want to do business with? Is your financial planner posting about his days on the beach or about interesting financial articles that he is studying? A carpenter needs his clients to see posts about his creations, a real estate agent about his sales, and auto mechanic about his love for cars.

Obviously, you want to show your customers that you are a person, too, and postings about family events and milestones help give you a human connection. All of your posts, though, combine to build an image of you – and you want to control that image.

Fortunately, all of the social media outlets have “privacy settings” allowing you to control who sees your posts. Managed carefully, your friends will see your political rants, your customers will see your successes, and both can see the playful kitten pictures. Understanding these privacy settings are the key to presenting yourself to your community as the person they want to do business with. These settings can also be applied to previous posts so that new clients, researching you, will see only what you want them to.

Use your social media wisely. The privacy settings will ensure that your business community sees you as hardworking, smart, and successful. Use each post to build that picture.