Pros & cons of having private social media profiles

I see that having private or public profiles continues to raise doubts for many social media users. In this post I explain, with the help of Oscar Del Santo, the pros and cons of having a private profile, although I advance that from the point of view of your personal brand, there are more advantages and opportunities having those public profiles.

If you have little time, I invite you to watch this video-summary:

Imagine social media as a social club. Would you cover your face so the partners wouldn't see you?? Would you keep quiet?

OK, I didn't want to condition the answer, but I think that's just what I just did. Imagine the situation. You pay the entry fee to a club, Whatever it is, Sports, bridge, business, whatever you want. And the first day, the day of your premiere as a member of the club, you come with your face covered, earplugs and not saying a word... do you think it's reasonable?

If a network is social, and therefore opened, what's the point of a closed profile?

This was the reflection that prompted me, between 2008 and 2009, to register for the most relevant networks, and with the exception of Facebook, I did it with open profiles. The reason we didn't do it with Facebook is that it was, at least initially, to locate your friends and follow them in the virtual world.

At that time, I was closely following Francesc Grau, author of Twitter in one week, and I remember I asked him his opinion on private profiles on Twitter. His response was stark: Twitter is not a network of friends, it's a place where people and businesses are informed of what's happening in real time and they talk. A private profile doesn't make sense.

But there are still many private accounts, especially on Instagram

Instagram surprises me because a lot of the people who follow me (and the ones I follow) have private profiles. That is to say, that even if they follow me, I can't see what they post if they don't give me explicit permission. I think in the economy of care, maybe we don't have the time to make decisions if there are obstacles along the way. It's my way of looking at it., though I may be wrong.

But beyond my opinion (let's say pretty subjective), I'd rather check the opinion of another great professional like Oscar Del Santo, and then list the advantages (that there are also) and the downsides of maintaining private social media accounts, especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

An expert's opinion: Oscar Del Santo

Oscar Del Santo is for me one of the greatest benchmarks in Personal Branding, inbound marketing, digital marketing, emotional intelligence and coaching. He is the author of "Marketing de atracción 2.0”, “Reputación online para todos” and co-author of "De Twitter al cielo”. This is his assessment of the private profiles:

Privacy is very important for many people, especially those who use digital media and social networks to communicate with an exclusive group of contacts and who want to maintain a certain anonymity and the healthy ability to say whatever they want with a minimum of censorship.

From this perspective, you wouldn't have anything to object to regarding private profiles on Twitter and Instagram. They're a perfectly legitimate option.

True, they convey a certain sense of Obscurantism and do not contribute particularly to the construction or development of our personal brand, or that we can implement growth strategies. All we think twice before following someone whose tweets, feed or images are censored. Thus, from a Social Media Manager perspective and to achieve marketing or reputational goals are not particularly useful.

Key benefits of private profiles

The freedom to choose who you follow and who follows you

Perhaps it's the most remarkable advantage. In the background, you create your own social club. My question is whether that would already be covered with Whatsapp groups, Telegram, Messenger...

Security

By controlling the flow of followers and followed, you avoid trolls, offended, and expendable wildlife like spammers, fake accounts

Privacy

This is the main advantage that confess essays those with private profiles. In my judgement, it goes against the idea of "social" network. If you want to share photos with family and friends, there are other formulas. The tailor's wife is the worst clad, Drive, Dropbox, private folders on Pinterest,… And if you want to talk, you can also count on Whatsapp, Telegram, Messenger…

Spy mode: see without being seen

It's also an advantage. Allows an observer profile (the majority net on the network) of those who look but don't touch, doesn't comment, doesn't rumour, doesn't share.

Major disadvantages of private profiles

Missed opportunity in election processes

Many think that election processes only occur when someone is looking for work, when you're looking for equipment, when he's running for an election contest. There's more. Every day there are processes of choice that we are often not aware of, or we're only when they contact us for a particular project.

Having private profiles, that equates to a poor digital brand, makes it difficult to choose. Let's remember that if we don't communicate, they won't find us. Y a private profile doesn't communicate.

Smaller communities

Maybe it's a secondary disadvantage., but social media requires minimal so that we can consider them "communities". Linkedin has set it in 500 contacts, the rest of the networks don't have a minimum set.

Many netizens refuse to connect or track people who don't show the cards face up

Farewell to SEO positioning

If you have a very common first and last name, it's harder to be found on the Internet. With open profiles (and assets, important detail), it's easier for them to find your name.

Missed networking opportunity

Just as there is a missed opportunity in election processes, there is to take advantage of connections that can be of great use to us. I'm with Oscar, we tend to be wary of people who don't share minimums of information, and that creates a discard.

One of the good things that the Internet and social media have brought us is, precisely, the ability to build relationships. Initially they are virtual, and many end up being real. Thanks to the network, I've met people who have made me grow, and to which I've then had the opportunity to shake hands.

In short...

You choose which monastery you want to live in: one open and admitting visitors or a closing one with a vow of silence. Both are acceptable. Now you know the pros and cons of each. The reflection is yours. Have a nice week.

Stock Photos from T-Kot / Shutterstock

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About me Guillem Recolons

Convinced that everything leaves a mark, I help companies to better connect with their stakeholders through personal branding programs (personal brand management) and employee advocacy (internal brand ambassadors programs).

Partner at Integra Personal Branding and Soymimarca, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis Human Results and Quifer Consultores.

As lecturer, participated in the Graduate Social Media of UPF and UVic, in various programs at IESE and ISDI, among other. Advertising man, Master en Marketing. Grade student of Humanities.

My DNA comes from advertising 20 years in agencies: BBDO, J.W.T., Bassat Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi, Altraforma and TVLowCost among others.

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About me Oscar Del Santo

Comuniologist, bilingual trainer and coach specializing in digital communication. Focused on solutions rather than problems.

So far he has written three books on Twitter, Online Reputation and Attraction Marketing or Inbound Marketing.

In 2020 teaches New Technologies and Personal Brand at the University School of Real Madrid - European University and collaborates with the Mendibil Training Centre of your native Irun.

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2 replies
  1. Damian Planas D.
    Damian Planas D. says:

    Hello. I'm one of those who has a private profile on Instagram, I don't have a profile on Twitter. There is an advantage of the private profile that they have forgotten: Accounts of people who have family or friends far from the country and who share images and memories privately. Otherwise, I understand the disadvantages, especially for people looking for work. Thank you.
    Damián

    Reply
    • Guillem Recolons
      Guillem Recolons says:

      Hello Damian. Thanks for your comment. In the case you review, one option is private profiles, and the other, for example, would be the creation of closed groups on Whatsapp, Messenger or Telegram, where in addition to sharing an image or video the group has the option to comment on it, and you're also not subject to social media censorship. Having said that, I won't be the one advising you to open a profile against your will. I've limited myself to exposing the pros and cons, with the horizon set on the projection of our personal brand. a cordial greeting!

      Reply

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