Transparency on social media varies with each platform.

Social media privacy

Privacy means different things to different people. Social networking’s foundation encourages sharing and connection. Transparency on social media isn’t something entrepreneurs easily dive into.

First of all, your questions may outnumber your answers. What remains private and what is shared publicly can be confusing. Each platform has its own unstated rules. 

Watch, listen and learn before joining the conversation. Social media will definitely challenge your comfort zone.

My first concerns were about my clients. I wondered, “What if they discover something about me which changes their opinion? Will they still work with me?” Truly, this was like navigating through unchartered territory.

Transparency was frowned upon

Revealing aspects of your life on the web is initially uncomfortable. Social media may challenge your core beliefs as it did for me. Does personal sharing really serve a purpose?

What purpose does personal sharing on social media serve? Click To Tweet

Privacy and vulnerability concerns arose. As a therapist, transparency is discouraged – unless its therapeutically beneficial.

Self disclosure is frowned upon.

My professors taught me that disclosing personal information to my clients crosses professional boundaries. My professional and personal lives remain separate. When closely working with someone on their inner challenges, I want the focus to remain on them instead of turning to me..

Follow these guidelines as you explore transparency on social media:

  1. Choose your platform. Which social media platform fits best for you and your business.
  2. Content. Mix things up. Post information, get personal and share other people’s information.
  3. Community. Participate in groups to form deeper connections.
  4. Chip in. Join the conversation. Respond to other people’s posts, questions and comments. You’ll gain recognition as a valued resource.
  5. Confidential. Some things ought to remain private. Transparency on social media isn’t always a good fit. Decide what works best for you.

Feeling exposed

Did you hesitate before you shared your first post? I remember feeling exposed. It’s as if the curtain is now fully open.

Notice which social media posts draw you in and which ones turn you off. Click To Tweet

Connecting to others through social media offers value. Participating in the global community may contradict your specific beliefs regarding privacy. Find your comfort zone before you plunge in and get started.

TransparencyOf course, some mistakes will occur along the way.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Sometimes I share my strong opinions. Other times resistance will silence my reply. Good, bad and ugly moments have occurred along the way.

Some people are way over the top. They don’t possess a filter and will share TMI (too much information). Observe what others post to help you determine your disclosure level. Notice which posts draw you in and which ones turn you off.  

Getting personal

Mari Smith spoke at an event I attended. She defined the difference between personal and private. Basically if you are not comfortable with something being viewed as a headline on the New York Times, then keep it private. Thanks Mari for sharing this simple and relevant piece of advice. 

People want to know you. A well thought out social media strategy adds value. Let your connections catch a glimpse behind the curtain. Transparency on social media will foster long lasting relationships when done right. What has worked for you so far?