Social media isn’t just about showing off your healthy lunch or sharing selfies with your followers.  It has become a huge platform for networking and is actually a really great tool for professionals to keep up with companies and connect with people they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to meet.  But the fact that social media plays two completely different roles in our daily lives (personal and professional) makes it difficult to decipher how to conduct ourselves on social media.  The real answer is, it’s not all black and white.  So instead of giving a list of do’s & dont’s, here are a few tips on how to balance your both your personal life and professional life on social media!

Tip # 1  ∙ Don’t set your profile to private (on Twitter)

Facebook and Instagram are a different story.  Twitter is probably one of the best ways to connect with people in the professional world.  Other than having an actual connection, tweeting the person is your best bet.  And by “tweeting” we mean sending over a meaningful message like sharing an article that relates to that company or industry, getting in on the conversation if they pose a question to their followers, etc.  If your profile is set to private, you’re basically defeating the purpose of being on Twitter in the first place.

Tip # 2  ∙ Get a great profile picture

A selfie with your BFF, a photo of you holding your favorite bottle of vino, or a random photo from your iPhone are not going to cut it.  You need something that is presentable and truly communicates your “brand” and who you are.  We’re not saying you need to hire a photographer and makeup artist just to create the perfect profile picture, but a little effort PLUS having someone else take your photo will go a long way.

Tip # 3  ∙ Don’t be negative

We’re definitely not saying all of your tweets need to be dedicated to work, but those tweets where you complain that it’s Monday or that you don’t feel like going to the gym are not what people want to hear!  Not only does it make you sound like a (major) Debbie Downer, but if you’re trying to impress your boss or a potential employer, that is not the message you want to send out to the world.  What people do want to hear is how happy you are that it’s Friday or how great your workout was (you can even tag your gym and may even get a Tweet back!)

Tip # 4  ∙ Use hashtags

Hashtags are an awesome way to make your voice heard.  Once you put a ‘#’ in front of a word it acts as a search engine, which ultimately organizes everyone tweets about that word (or words).  Just make sure your hashtag is relevant.  For example, if you’re tweeting/instagramming/pinning to us, you may want to hashtag #onSGtoday (our blog) or #shannongailweddings – it’s relevant and something that we’ve used before.  That way, whenever someone searches #shannongailweddings, your post will be there!

Tip # 5  ∙ Set some time rules

This is truly a test of how well you balance your personal and professional social media life.  Tweeting, Instagramming, and Pinning at 1am is pretty much pointless.  But it’s also still okay to share your nightlife (just not too many details) on social media.  Sharing a photo of you and your friends at a restaurant is not taboo!  In fact, if you tag that restaurant, you may even get a freebie (or at least a shout out)!  Social media really is all about communication and connecting, and night life is a huge part of that.  But again, make sure you’re not disclosing too many details.