How Personal is Too Personal on Social Media?

Post by Ray 2 years ago - social media marketing - 2 Comments

Robertson Davis Bastards quote


On this week’s Google+ Tips & Topics Lunch Hangout, we were excited to welcome social media star, Peg Fitzpatrick to our lunch table.


Peg is a perfect guest for a discussion about how to present a personality online.

She’s built a huge social media following by being responsive, helpful and authentic.

We feel we know Peg; that if she lived nearby, we’d invite her over for a barbecue.


Because Peg not only represents her own “brand” but also a large company, she’s an example of how businesses build better businesses by being social.

Business has always been personal. With the introduction social media technology, companies struggle to what they’ve always done naturally in their communities. 


It’s as if businesses suffer from stage fright, intimidated by the technology and sheer size of potential audience.

Instead of acting naturally, every move is self consciously questioned.


G+ Tips & Topics Lunch Hangout

We discussed online privacy issues during the first half of the broadcast. What were some of the misconceptions that exists?

How much personal information is too much information? (TMI)

Finding that balance is a concern for many companies starting on social platforms. 

Social Media enables social business

The basics of doing business don’t change because you’re online.

Being accountable, being honest and having good manners aren’t any less important because you’re you’re not sharing a physical space.

Work the social media space as you would a business networking event and unless you’re an ass in real life, you should be fine…

And remember:

1. The internet is public.

Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your mother or customer to read.

2. The internet is forever.

You may think no one will find you among the billions online, but the NSA aren’t the only ones interested in your personal information.

3. The internet wants to know everything about you.

But your clients don’t.




Watch our our thirty minute+ Hangout On Air and let me know your thoughts on the subject.

I’ve excerpted samples of our conversation below. Just click on the name and it will take to you their portion of the video. I’ve paraphrased their responses.


Peg Fitzpatrick:

If you think you can be online and not be public, you’re mistaken. Being professional from day one is important. 

Micheline Bourque:

We live in a world where we all lead public lives.  In a business setting, people want to know the person, not the personal. They want to know the values a person has, the type of interests they have – to know what they have a in common.

Randy Bowden:

There’s a changing tide in moralities. Different generations will accept a much different definition of what constitutes too much information.

Peg Fitzpatrick:

Some people are their brands, and their branding is about pushing buttons. But you need to be careful.  You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

Jess Dewell:

Life is messy – that’s life!  Our personal lives don’t  get left at the door. If people only see the amazing stuff, you won’t be seen as real. We can’t identify with perfection.

Sherry Nouraini:

Challenge is to be a business and be human. The larger issue is developing trust. To establish trust you have to stand for something and show that through your status updates. Once you establish what you stand for as a brand that will guide your online activities.

Randy Bowden:

The level of personal information you share depends on your company culture…


Having cultures defined and social media policies in place don’t negate having fun.

It it’s all business all the time, there’s no room for social.


If you’re interested in this topic, check out my blog post: Can You Be a Person and a Personal Brand?


If you’d like to join our Google+ Tips & Topics Community, subscribe to my weekly newsletter above and I’ll send you an invitation. 

Check out our weekly Google+ Tips & Topics Lunch Hangout every Tuesday at 12:15 pm ET.  You can watch past shows on my YouTube channel.


About Ray Hiltz

Ray Hiltz is a Social Media Strategist specializing in Google+ Local search and content marketing. He helps small businesses establish online reputation and trust by putting the spotlight on their greatest asset - people. Ray host the #RayBunch show, a weekly web and podcast featuring news and opinions with a regular panel of marketing and business leaders.

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