Pros and cons of having private profiles on social media

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 you that from the point of view of your personal brand, there are more advantages and opportunities having those public profiles.

If you're short on 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?

Go, I didn't want to condition the answer, but I think that's just what I just did. Imagine the situation. You pay the club entry fee, whatever it is, Sports, bridge, business, whatever you want. And the first day, on the day of your debut as a member of the club, you come with your face covered, earplugs and without a word... do you think it's reasonable?

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

This was the reflection that propelled 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 not to do it with Facebook is that it was, at least initially, to locate your friends and follow them in the virtual world.

At the time, I was following very closely to Francesc Grau, author of Twitter in a week, and I remember I asked him his opinion about private profiles on Twitter. His answer was blunt: Twitter is not a network of friends, it's a place where people and businesses are informed of what's going on 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 many of the people who follow me (and the ones I follow) have private profiles. I mean, 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 economics of attention, 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 quite subjective), I prefer to compare the opinion of another great professional as Oscar Del Santo, and then list the advantages (there are also) and the downsides of keeping private social media accounts, especially Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The opinion of an expert: Oscar Del Santo

Oscar Del Santo is for me one of the biggest benchmarks in personal brand, inbound marketing, digital marketing, emotional intelligence and coaching. He is the author of "Attraction marketing 2.0", “Online reputation for all” and co-author of "From Twitter to heaven". Here's your assessment of private profiles:

Privacy is a very important thing for many people, especially those who use digital media and social media 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, one would have nothing to object to regarding private profiles on Twitter and Instagram. They are a perfectly legitimate choice.

That's for sure., convey a certain sense of Obscurantism And they do not contribute particularly to the construction or development of our personal brand, nor that we can implement growth strategies. All we think twice before following someone whose tweets, feed or images are censored. So, from a Social Media Manager perspective and to achieve marketing or reputation goals are not particularly useful.

Main advantages of private profiles

The freedom to choose who you follow and who follows you

Perhaps it's the most noteworthy advantage. Deep down, 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, avoid trolls, offending, and expendable wildlife like spammers, fake accounts...

Privacy

This is the main advantage that those with private profiles confess. In my judgement, goes against the idea of "social" network. If you want to share photos with family and friends, there are other formulas. You know, Drive, Dropbox, private folders on Pinterest,… And if you want a chat, you can also count on Whatsapp, Telegram, Messenger…

Spy mode: see unseen

It's also an advantage. Allows an observer profile (the majority internet user in the network) of those he looks at but doesn't touch, doesn't comment, doesn't rumor, doesn't share.

Main disadvantages of private profiles

Opportunity lost in election processes

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

Having private profiles, which equates to a poor digital brand, makes the choice difficult. Let's remember that if we don't communicate, they won't find us. And a private profile does not communicate.

Smaller communities

Maybe it's a secondary disadvantage., But social media demands minimals so that we can consider them "communities". Linkedin has set it in 500 Contacts, the rest of the networks do not have a minimum set.

Many netizens refuse to connect or return follow-up to people who don't show 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.

Lost networking opportunity

Just as there is a missed opportunity in election processes, there's to take advantage of connections that can be of great use to us. I'm with Oscar., we tend to distrust people who do not share minimal information, and that generates a discard.

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

In short...

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

Stock Photos from T-Kot / Shutterstock

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About me Guillem Recolons

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

Soymimarca Partner, Integrates Personal Branding and The Human Branding, I also collaborate with Ponte en Valor, Brandergizers, MoreThanLaw, Noema Consulting, AdQualis and QUIFER Consultants.

I participate in various programs at IESE, ISDI and EAE, UPF's Social Media Graduate and UVIC, among others. Collegiate advertising, Master in Marketing. Humanities Degree Student.

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

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About me Oscar Del Santo

Personal Brand Gardener, Online Reputation and Inbound Marketing

Comuncologist, bilingual trainer and coach specializing in digital communication.

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

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2 thoughts on "Pros and cons of having private profiles on social media”

  1. Hello. I'm one of those who has a private profile on Instagram, I don't have a Twitter profile. There's a private profile advantage you've forgotten: Accounts of people we have family or friends far from the country and who share images and memories privately. Otherwise, I understand the downsides, especially for people looking for work. Magnificent summary.
    Damián

    Reply
    • Hello Damian. Thank you for your comment. In the case you review, one option is private profiles, and the other, For example, would be creating 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 besides, you're not subject to social media censorship. That said,, I won't be the one advising you to open a profile against your will. I've just exposed the pros and cons, with the horizon set in the projection of our personal brand. A cordial greeting!

      Reply

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