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Renee Ballard

Church and State

Weirdly, not weirdly, social media has turned into a network and keeping all the facets of our lives separate is getting harder and harder to do.

After meeting with a few clients lately, I can see there is a struggle to keep church and state separate. Where their target audience is finding them isn’t where they want to be seen. Conversely, where they want their target audience to go, isn’t where they’re clicking.

I can see the tension between trying to live a transparent life, get your business off the ground and still maintain a social life online. The big channels aren’t helping either. In their desperation to keep us on their site for as long as possible, they’re maniacally trying to connect us to everyone we’ve ever know, from our best friend in primary school, to your ex-boyfriend’s sister to someone you worked with last millennia. It’s getting murky on there!

A client recently told me she is struggling to keep her personal accounts just that and to drive her new business traffic to her business accounts. The thing is though, people want to connect with a person, not with a business name and when you start a small business you are accessible to all and sundry. (to make sure no potential client is left untended to).

I didn’t have a quick answer for her other than to invite all her new followers to like her company pages. Since that chat though, I’ve been cooking on what’s the answer to this. I did what I normally do and looked at what the famous people and/or successful business owners do. This is what I’ve ascertained.

When a business starts, it’s all hands on deck to make sure that no potential client is left untended to, and you’re not fussy how they contact you. But as the business starts to scale up and become bigger and sturdier, boundaries are needed to keep everyone from going insane.

And this is what the famous/big business people do, they reclaim their personal accounts and they ramp up the division between themselves and their business. When to do this varies on everyone’s tipping point. I have big business plans, so naturally I started with business pages on all the major channels, start as you mean to finish I say.

Some people do the opposite though and push their business through their personal accounts. I think that works beautifully at the beginning, because your friends are powerful connecters who can really help you spread the word. But it can be a recipe for that awkward cross over between posting your latest kid’s photos with your latest product launch!

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