Hootsuite, Social Media, And Your Privacy
by Tiffany Johnson

This post was inspired by one of my clients who asked how to get social media profiles setup in Hootsuite. Thanks Eve for asking;)

In the past two weeks, I’ve had several strategy sessions with clients and one common thing that comes up is social media. How to handle it when you want to keep your personal, personal and your professional, professional.

In all honesty it’s like trying to separate church and state. You cannot. Every where I go, the church goes. Why? Because I am the church, so if I’m a politician it’s going with me I cannot put it down and do civic business.

No matter what anyone says this is not going to happen unless it’s not in you to begin with. Enough political talk, back to business.

Ah yes! There’s no separating personal you from professional you. It doesn’t matter how you slice it, you’re still going to get a little personal, a little professional. This is the new normal for business and social media is spearheading this change.

I know it may be frightening considering what type of business or profession you’re in, however there’s a way to get you comfortable with all of this.

First things first, let’s get some tools in place to help you get started.

Hootsuite is my favorite because I can use it on my computer, from my phone, and from my iPad. Here’s a quick tutorial on setting up your social media profiles in Hootsuite:

How to add your social media profiles?

Click this icon for ‘Settings’

and then click ‘Social Networks’

From here select your social networks. You will be prompted to give Hootsuite Access to your account.

Click here to enlarge

Notice you can:

  • Add a feed
  • View your account settings
  • Change your preferences
  • Select a different theme
  • Synchronize your Avatars
  • Add another social network

When you’re ready to send your quick message, keep in mind the character limits for Twitter especially. Since you only have 140 characters, it’s a good idea to keep your post at 120 to allow others to retweet your post without it getting cut off.

If you are including links, always shorten them.

To shorten long URLs — Highlight your link and press the “Shrink” button. HootSuite’s own Ow.ly will then provide you with a shortened URL, which will appear in the Textarea box to the left of the “Shrink” button. You can then copy-paste it into your Tweet or post:

You’re now set to either send the update immediately or schedule it for a later time.

Let’s now address some of the concerns I’ve heard in the last year or so:

I just don’t want to
It takes up too much time
My target audience is not on (fill in the blank)
I only want people to find my page and not my personal profile

This list could go on and on…

Let me ask you this: If the President of the United States, who has the most important job and way more people he’s responsible for than we ever could imagine is on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, etc., why shouldn’t we?

I’m not for convincing people to do things, I prefer posing questions to make you think. If anyone doesn’t have time for all of this it would definitely be President Obama.

Now, before you tell me he has aids and lots of help with all of this, there’s nothing stopping you from having your own virtual dream team working behind the scenes for you.

There are few people who are not on social media. Even people who don’t have computers or internet access at home are using social media. When I hear “my audience isn’t on XYZ” I cringe. Do you know the population of folks on social media?

Over 800 million active Facebook users
250 million tweets per day on Twitter
100 million LinkedIn users
158 million hits per month on YouTube
10 million Pinterest users
Estimated at 85.2 million Google+ users

Source: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest – The Who’s Who Of Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]
Google Plus ‘will have more than 400m users by the end of 2012’ – will it overtake Facebook?

Must I go on?

If your peeps aren’t a part of the millions, okay then maybe you’ve got a very unique and special group. However to be on the safe side it’s best to be EVERYWHERE they are and most likely it’s not just one location.

The LinkedIn folks are on Facebook, Twitter and the rest and so should you.

I understand privacy is a big factor, but it confuses me. Here’s the thing, you have control over what you put out there. I won’t know what kind of dining room set you have at home if you don’t post pics of it online.

I won’t know your cousin Sally unless you mention your cousin Sally online. And if you did post these things, I’ve got lots of others things to do besides track down your cousin Sally and see what she’s up to. I’m sure your audience feels the same way as we are handling our own social media activity.

As much as people are into what other people are doing, most aren’t going on a bunny trail to see what you and all of your friends are up to each moment of the day. And if there is that random person who is, how about blocking them from your social media activity. You do have control over that stuff you know.

Here’s how to hide the owners of your page on Facebook if you don’t want people to try and friend you, although I don’t recommend it. However, I do get asked.

From your Facebook page, click ‘Edit Page’ in the top right corner.

Click on ‘Featured’

Click here to enlarge

Click on ‘Edit Featured Page Owners’

And if you’re still unsure as to whether you should be active on social media watch this:

If you’re all set and ready, please share this post with your friends. See below, ‘I made it SUPER easy!’

Top Image Source: unplggd.com via Marlena on Pinterest