Transparency on social media varies with each platform.

Social media privacy

Privacy means different things to different people. As you’ve probably noticed, social networking’s foundation encourages sharing and connection. Transparency on social media isn’t something accounting professionals 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 definitely challenges 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 uncharted territory.

Transparency was frowned upon

Revealing aspects of your life, for all to view 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?

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

Self disclosure is frowned upon.

My professors had strong views about disclosing personal information to my clients. In a nutshell, it crosses professional boundaries.They told me that doing this would maintain focus on my client instead of turning it onto me.

As a good student, I followed their instruction. I separated my professional from my personal life.

Follow these guidelines as you explore transparency on social media:

  1. Choose your platform. Which social media platform fits best for you and your accounting firm.
  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 accounting related 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. In order to figure out what worked for me, I started to challenge my limits. 

Notice which social media posts draw you in and which ones turn you off. Read full post. #getpaidwhatyoureworth 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.

working with your spouseOf course, expect some mistakes to occur along the way.

The good, the bad and the ugly

Sometimes I share my strong opinions. Other times resistance silences my reply. Good, bad and ugly moments have occurred over time.

Some people are way over the top. They don’t possess a filter and share TMI (too much information). Observe what others post. It’s a way to 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. Allow your connections to catch a glimpse behind the curtain. Transparency on social media fosters long lasting relationships when done right. What works for you?

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