It’s no secret that I have two Twitter accounts: @SavvySocialist and @CarolynMaul (in fact, many of my co-workers and friends follow both… it’s become a running joke that I have online multiple personality disorder, ha!). When I created these profiles, I kept them separate because each served a very distinct purpose.
@SavvySocialist was my more professional arm. It was where I followed brands, apps and other marketing pros that I admired. It was where I posted geeky social media articles and anecdotes and asked questions about various social marketing tactics. It was where I directed potential employers.
@CarolynMaul, on the other hand, is where I was able to breathe. Here, I discussed running and triathlon training, my shameful reality TV addiction, my latest cooking triumphs, random thoughts and witty quips and my stinky little Hershey.
On @CarolynMaul, I often bantered back and forth with college friends, family members and my new network of local Twitter buddies. On this account, anything goes! I’m very transparent and don’t really believe in holding back. :-)
You see, the conversations (and audiences) were very different.
But over time, I began to notice that my @SavvySocialist followers were interested in knowing the person behind the social media nuggets, and my @CarolynMaul crowd also enjoyed what I had to share about becoming more socially savvy. Further, I didn’t want to pretend to be something I wasn’t – if I swore on occasion (as we all do!), or had a bad day or found humor in an episode of Teen Mom, I didn’t want to censor that. All of those slivers of arbitrary factoids were previews of what you might get when you met me in person.
In person, I’m ambitious, experienced, well spoken, confident and intelligent. But I’m also the first one to crack a joke in a meeting. I have a loud laugh. I love taking my business partners to dinners and happy hours. I like to talk about a lot of different things that pique my interest. Some might call me “green” but with 11 years’ experience, that’s hardly the case. Ultimately, I’m just real and raw and that makes people uncomfortable sometimes.
So as my professional and personal lives began to bleed together online, it no longer made sense to maintain two separate accounts.
I’ve still kept them, though I primarily tweet from @CarolynMaul. I’m still trying to determine how I should merge them, if at all.
I’m interested in your thoughts, readers. Is it wise to maintain a “professional” social presence AND a “personal” social presence? Or, should you just have one, in the interest of being authentic?