How authentic are you?

20 Apr

This post has grown from a seed planted in a Twitter conversation yesterday.  In it I asked whether people have success running more than one Twitter account simultaneously. 

I’m interested because I feel like I’m failing my ‘professional’ ID.  The responses I got told me that, on the whole, we all prefer to meet the whole person, rather than a slice of a person.  So, for a little while I redirected my blog link to my personal Twitter ID.

Then I hesitated.  I remembered the fact that I am prolific on my personal ID, as opposed to occasional on my professional.  I remembered that the people I like to tweet with wouldn’t necessarily want to read about the professional me, or be interested in the tweets I normally reserve for that account.  I remembered that I often have a glass of wine on a Friday night, partake in the Twitter equivalent of a pub quiz and tweet random nonsense for a couple of hours.

And I thought “What would that do for my professional image?”.

So, for the time being I’ve redirected my blog link back to my professional ID, but I’m still not happy.

Part of what I do is advise on Social Media use and for me the main element is to be authentic.  Twitter is not an obvious sales tool, but used well it is a great way to build relationships and it’s something that I’ve done very successfully (and without agenda) on my personal ID. To attempt to do the same with my professional will take an investment of time and energy and, frankly, I’ve got work to do.

What’s your take? Are you authentic? Do you use multiple IDs successfully or are you more ‘what you see is what you get’?

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15 Responses to “How authentic are you?”

  1. Deb April 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm #

    I’m curious – why do you think you can only be authentic on a personal twitter account? I have two and one is personal and one for work. Both of them have a flavour of the real me. But I don’t tweet about *everything* in my life on either because this is the internet, stuff will be out there forever, I value my privacy, revealing all is boring….I could go on and on!

    I think, as you’re smart at all this social media stuff, you could still reveal a bit of you on your work one (if that’s what you want) and the other is for letting it all hang out a bit more. Just a purely work twitter account is boring – I like the ones where people show a bit of themselves.

    Thanks for giving food for thought! xx

    • peabee72 April 20, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

      Thanks Deb, I don’t know if it’s because the audiences are so vastly different or really what it is. It’s not that I’m not authentic on my other account, but I haven’t been able to develop the level of interaction that I’ve got on the other and that’s the most important aspect of Twitter for me.

      Maybe it’s a time thing. I do get very caught up in my personal account and certainly time management is a major part of it. It could be that I just need to find a greater balance and split my time more evenly. I’ve got very comfortable in my peabee corner!

      Thanks for your thoughts….very helpful xx

  2. Emily O April 20, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    I’m with Deb, I’ve got a work one and a personal one and I’m myself on both. Although the work one is associated with a company so I’ve got to behave myself on it. I’m just about to manage another twitter account for a company so I’ll need be personal on that otherwise people won’t want to follow or tweet with the account. It’s a tricky one. My personal one is definitely authentically me and the other ones will continue to be me but watching what I say at times. I think it can still be authentic.

    • peabee72 April 20, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

      Thanks Emily, I think it’s different again when you’re working on someone else’s behalf. I don’t have a problem with that, it’s more the finding the balance between two different sides of me and I’m fast coming to the conclusion that it’s a ‘must try harder’ situation 🙂

  3. Rosie Scribble April 20, 2010 at 8:26 pm #

    I’m confused. I thought I was tweeting your personal account but now I don’t know if I’m tweeting you in a professional capacity or not. Am I tweeting the real you is my query. I can see why you have two accounts. I have my main @RosieScribble account. I also have a @RFTrosie account which I have to tweet four tweets from each day about the Ready for Ten website, but I find it difficult to manage two and tend to mainly use my Scribble account. having said that Scribble is not my real surname. My real name is my professional name. I don’t have a professional twitter account, as yet. Confused? I am!

    • peabee72 April 21, 2010 at 9:31 am #

      No need for confusion Rosie, you are tweeting the ‘real’ me, although feel free to come and keep me company in my professional capacity too! *gasp* Scribble is not your surname? I’m shocked…I always loved that name 😉

  4. Nickie @ Typecast April 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm #

    I’d only reiterate that having a separate personal and business Twitter (or other social media account) is more professional as you can fall into the “over-personal” catagory and that (to me – the outsider) looks very unprofessional.

    For me – my work is completely unlinked to my personal life, especially as I write a very opinionated, emotional and personal blog. If anyone who knows me through work happens to stumble upon what I write about then I’m fine with that because it is out there in the public domain with my real name attached to it, however, I don’t “promote” it to any colleagues/work associates.

    I think that you’re on the boundary of having a business that is very involved with social media and the fact that you also have a personal/parenting blog – the boundaries have become rather blurred in this (quite individual) case but I’d say that that is quite unusual. It’s very unlikely that any of my colleagues are going to (want to) find my personal account(s) through work searches.

    However, as I’ve demonstrated today with the edit to my recent blog post -you can run but you can’t hide. Anyone with a bit of Google-savviness about them can find whatever they want.

  5. Vegemitevix April 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    Ah but I get this. I have set up an account for Kia Kaha Comms but I never actually post anything to it. Er, I very rarely even check it. The work I’ve got have come through my @vegemitevix one. It’s a dilemma, particularly since, like you, I consult on this stuff! Perplexing. I think we should discuss over glasses of wine at Reading sometime soon! xx

  6. Heather April 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    this is interesting, it is something I’ve been thinking about recently with setting up my new travel blog, which i hope, is going to become a business. Should I have a separate account for each? The two are sort of interlinked and yet, like you, I have been known to have a glass of wine and relax on Twitter with palls, is that inappropriate?

    I don’t think I have the time to spend on my personal one and build up a new one, make new friends etc as well as write two blogs and spend time working on promotion for the new one. It is a bit of a minefield really, huh?

  7. Crystal Jigsaw April 28, 2010 at 11:00 am #

    To be honest, I’d get so confused if I had two Twitter accounts that I wouldn’t know which one to use. Interesting post!

    CJ xx

  8. Chic Mama May 10, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    I have two accounts and swing from them depending how I am feeling. I believe you have the authentic me on both but one is under my real name so sometimes I have to be careful with what I say. I have to admit as a social tool i am failing a bit on Chic Mama twitter but feel I need ‘real’ me more at the moment….now I’m rambling and not making any sense at all.
    I suppose it depends what you want it all for isn’t it. I have trouble juggling it all sometimes. I do love Twitter though. x By the way…your suggestion really helped and has been used. ;0)

    • Paula May 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

      I had no idea you had two accounts – I only know you as CM (or maybe I also know you as the real you and don’t realise?!) Really pleased to see the new look, hope the lift in look will precipitate a lift in every other sense x

  9. Paula May 18, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    Thanks for all your comments everyone – it appears to be something of an ongoing dilemma. Personally, for now at least, I’ve stuck with two accounts and am committed to try and invest in both. Px

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Confessions of a Newbie! « What Will Julia Do Next? - April 22, 2010

    […] Confessions of a Newbie! Posted on April 22, 2010 by jfb57 There seems to have been lots of serious thinking over the past few days about blogging & what it means & involves. Paula’s post here  questions whether blogging is a selfish activity. She also considered her own authenticity here […]

  2. Newbie thoughts revisited! « What Will Julia Do Next? - December 28, 2010

    […] There seems to have been lots of serious thinking over the past few days about blogging & what it means & involves. Paula’s post here  questions whether blogging is a selfish activity. She also considered her own authenticity here […]

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