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  • Indium Corporation
  • I  get the occasional push back, or questions, from some colleagues who fear that INDIUM  CORPORATION  is inserting itself into peoples' personal lives - when it comes to our B2B  Marcom social media program (blogging, Twitter, Facebook). Understand that this coin has at least two sides. One fear is that we are pushing into our customers' space - the other is that we are invading our own employees' space.   Both concerns are very fair and important.

    In my experience, this issue is THE largest challenge of our social media program. The hardware and software stuff can all be learned - it's just mechanical.   The human side is quite another beast (as usual, right?).

    Many who feel that we are pushing into our customers' personal lives don't quite grasp the "opt in"  nature of social media. Interestingly, most people who feel this way have little or no social media experience. Still, they can slow things down. I  try to help them understand that individuals choose to allow us in, or not. It's that simple. Getting non-participating people to really understand "opt in" is a challenge. And it can be a show stopper if it is the boss.

    The other side of the coin presents my greatest challenge of the moment. Is a corporate social media program intrusive on an employee's personal life? The answer is YES. I  am dealing with this personally as we roll out our corporate Facebook and Twitter programs. My question is, should I  participate as the 'Rick Short' who already exists on Facebook and Twitter, or should I  create a new presence?   I've been advised both ways and have both good and bad vibes about either position.

    Some say that my (anyone's) "real" personality is a plus as it paints me as human, and multidimensional (not just electronics assembly materials). Of course, I  immediately wonder if my Indium Corporation audience really cares that I  just helped my wife bake cookies, and I  then have to censor anything I  might write that may not reflect well on my company. Additionally, I have to hope that my personal life social media friends don't drag me into anything unsavory (a tagged image from a 1977 party, a reference that includes my name, etc.).

    The simple answer is to create both personal AND  a professional identities on Twitter and Facebook (LinkedIn doesn't seem to have the same personal-life issues since it is intended - and used - as a business environment). But, friends find your professional identity eventually. You've got to be prepared to reject their invitations of friending and direct them to your alter ego. Additionally, you've got to be on your toes - keeping your accounts straight - all the time. And, with this strategy, you now have DOUBLE  the accounts.

    So, how to properly address this? I  don't know the best answer.

    Currently I  have only one identity each for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn - and am strongly considering creating professional identities. I  know that, either way, I  will have problems. I  believe that the problems I  will have with "multiple personalities" will be fewer, and less damaging, than the problems I will have with one big identity throughout my personal and professional existence.

    As this is a potentially problem, I  would LOVE  to know your take on this issue.