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Having read an article from HBR on “How to Separate the Personal and Professional on Social Media” I decided to look at the Social Media tool I often use and in what part of my Professional and Personal life they fall.

Working on from my Personal Knowledge Management System there are a couple of others shown in the diagram. This is just my quick classification of SMT (Social Media Tools) – everyone else may have a different view such as Facebook for business to reach consumers in particular markets. However it is worth looking if you class the tools as Professional or Personal. A few do sit in the middle for me as they have a place on both sides of the page.

Some of the tools are clearly for Professional use, but some do step either way across the line.

One potential way of keeping things apart is multiple accounts on a platform, one personal and one professional, but it is important to understand and set some guidelines on how you use these.


If you are communicating on Social Media representing an employer, always check their policy on Social Media and communications.

If you don’t have any, there are a number of good rules available.  Kevan Lee has done some research into these and had come up with a list of 29 Social Media Rules

For all social networks

1. Share several times a day, but space out your posts every few hours.

2. Respond to all comments as quickly as you can.

3. Know the art of the hashtag. 1 hashtag is fine. 10 hashtags are not.

4. Always keep the 80/20 rule! Entertain and inform your audience first, sell to them second.

5. Use first person plural when talking about your company brand (We, Us).

For Twitter

6. Don’t automatically direct message people that follow you.

7. Don’t use all 140 characters. Give people room to retweet with a reply.

8. Don’t hijack another company’s hashtag.

9. Don’t buy followers.

10. Don’t stuff your tweets with keywords.

For Facebook

11. Don’t Like your own post.

12. Don’t post or tag photos of fans, customers, or employees without permission.

13. Don’t tag people or pages that aren’t relevant to your post.

14. Don’t ask for Likes, Comments, or Shares.


15. Personalize your connection requests. Tell them WHY you’re connecting.

16. Once connected, send a “welcome” message.

17. Don’t join groups and immediately start selling yourself.

18. Don’t ignore the more professional tone of the network.


19. Always +mention users when commenting on their posts.

20. When sharing a post, always add your own commentary to it first.

21. Share to Circles to target your content.

22. Use Google+ formatting for your text—bold, italics, and strikethrough.


23. Don’t neglect to provide good descriptions for your pins.

24. Always link back to the original source and give credit.

25. Don’t use images that have nothing to do with your clickthrough content to get more pins or clicks.

26. Don’t pin just your own material.


27. Don’t ask people to follow you or use hashtags like #tagsforlikes – it’s unprofessional.

28. Don’t overgram. No one likes their feed filled up with one user.

29. Use hashtags for your brand appropriately. The golden number of hashtags is 11.

– Kevan Lee (https://blog.bufferapp.com/social-media-rules-etiquette)

Social Media seems to have taken the theory of Six Degrees of Separation and in some cases turned it into One or Two Degrees of Separation!