These days, the lines between our on- and off-line lives have become pretty fuzzy. We can measure our popularity by counting friends we’ve never met; find validation in our most private beliefs by way of positive, hand-shaped icons; and would-be employers can determine our hiring suitability (or lack thereof) without ever calling to see if we’re looking for a job. What a time to be alive!

In fact, even certain world leaders are enjoying the fruits of these blurred lines when it comes to knowing what and what not to tweet (although they don’t seem to be letting that stop them…), and increasingly, celebrities and service people alike are brought to task for missteps on their public pages, making one thing about the world of social media very clear: no one is immune (regardless of what certain Fanta-coloured elected officials will have you believe).

As a result, the question about whether or not to separate personal and professional profiles on social media is a critical one. Should your clients and colleagues be able to read and comment on your political views, or bear witness to your ill-advised selfie habits? When is giving connections a glimpse into your personal world helpful, and when might it be hurtful?

There are a few schools of thought: some professions – like those of teachers, lawyers or (most) politicians – require firm boundaries, due to the weight and responsibility of their roles. DJs, yoga instructors and hair stylists, on the other hand, can arguably benefit from a more public work-life blend, because their jobs are lifestyle-based, and personable in nature.

For travel advisors, the debate becomes somewhat stickier. As licensed consultants exchanging money for expertise, professionalism is paramount. But as dream-making confidants who turn vague concepts into lasting memories, building good relationships are everything – and a two-way street.

Some would argue that agents should aim for a polished public persona, while others say that in the dog-eat-dog world of business, all roads lead to leads. Many, however, have taken a more inclusive approach by amalgamating the purposes of two profiles into one, and finding the balance therein. After all, when it comes to in-person work events, it’s not like you leave your personality at the door.

So which approach is right for you and your business? Consider the following tips before you post:

 

WHAT ARE YOUR OBJECTIVES?
Do you want to build a brand known far and wide, or are you trying to narrow your niche? Are you looking to grow your roster of clients, or improve your company’s image? When using social media for business purposes, having a firm goal for what you hope to achieve is a must. If you are starting out in travel and looking to take every job that comes your way, authentic, self-promotion through your online communities is a great way to bolster your reach. However, just trying to avoid the hassle of having two accounts may not be a good enough reason to post moronic memes alongside a blog post featuring your favourite luxury hotels.

DOES YOUR LIFESTYLE MATCH YOUR BRAND?
If your forte is bespoke travel, your clients may not want to buy their luxury safari from a guy who posts pics of his “SundayFunday” escapades. If, however, you specialize in group getaways and weekend escapes, photo evidence of your talent for getting parties off the ground may inspire a client to pick-up the phone. At the same time, consider your work-life habits before starting multiple online personalities – if you’re too busy booking flights to stay on top of your posts (or vice versa), having an extra profile on your plate probably won’t help things.

ARE YOUR CLIENTS CONNECTED?
One of the biggest challenges of being a travel advisor is regularly checking-in on clients. There never seems to be a good time to call, and e-mails easily go unanswered. Being plugged-in to an online community can prove useful when it comes to casually communicating with your clients, and using your personal profile can make reaching out with an inquiry about their last vacation (and their next one) seem even more organic. If your clients are more likely to respond to a comment on their profile picture than an annual voicemail asking about their winter plans, merging your personal profile with your business can’t hurt. Just remember: digital interactions are not the same as in-person communication. Make time for both, and let the former inform the latter.

 

For some, having a personal profile (for food, baby and cat photos) and a professional page (for travel-related food, baby and cat photos) can help define a brand’s image, and maintain the same sort of mental boundaries which used to be prompted by a suit or briefcase. Boundaries are important in work and play, after all, and there’s no better way to keep yourself in check than by having multiple usernames. But for others, blending business with pleasure is one of the reasons advisors sell travel in the first place. Our clients are our friends, and our bucket lists are meant to be shared across multiple platforms. Besides, merging your social profiles can result in higher-quality posts and engagement – not to mention a broader audience of potential clients who never even knew you were a travel advisor. And a united front doesn’t have to mean you can’t be yourself; in the end, having a single, well-maintained profile really just comes down to balance, good grammar, and knowing when not to tweet.

But for others, blending business with pleasure is one of the reasons advisors sell travel in the first place. Our clients are our friends, and our bucket lists are meant to be shared across multiple platforms. Besides, merging your social profiles can result in higher-quality posts and engagement – not to mention a broader audience of potential clients who never even knew you were a travel advisor. And a united front doesn’t have to mean you can’t be yourself; in the end, having a single, well-maintained profile really just comes down to balance, good grammar, and knowing when not to tweet.

Besides, merging your social profiles can result in higher-quality posts and engagement – not to mention a broader audience of potential clients who never even knew you were a travel advisor. And a united front doesn’t have to mean you can’t be yourself; in the end, having a single, well-maintained profile really just comes down to balance, good grammar, and knowing when not to tweet.

 

Be on Top of your Sales Game with CT
Sales tips for products & destinations, career building advice, business development techniques & the latest industry news, all in one place.