So Facebook is one of the most widely used social networking sites in the internet today. People of all ages and from all walks of life log in every day to see what their “friends” are up to.
I am an avid user of Facebook. (The term “Facebook Addict” has been used…). Since we teach marketing, I get asked, almost daily, questions about Facebook and how to use it.
One of the biggest questions I get asked is “Do I just set up a second account for my business?”
When I ask them why they would need a second account, the answer I usually get is that they don’t want their family to see business stuff and they don’t want their “business friends” to see their personal stuff.
The answer is no. You do not need another profile. In fact it is against Facebook rules. If they catch you they will turn off both accounts and you will be out completely.
Now when I tell people that they usually decide that they are not going to use Facebook in their business. They lock their profile down so no one but their “friends” can see it or even find it.
Even if you do not want to connect with business friends on Facebook, they will look for you. This site has redefined the word friend and in today’s world even business associates want to get to know you and be your “friend”. So you NEED to have a visible profile. You need to become approachable and open some of your life up to you current and potential business contacts.
So the question still remains, how do you combine business and personal on Facebook without having everything personal available to your business contacts?
The easiest way to do this is with lists. I live and breath by lists on my profile. Lists allow you to segment your “friends” much the same way you would segment your email list. Then through various setting you can tell Facebook what to show (or not show) to certain groups of people. You can even have certain status updates only visible to specific groups of people.
For example if you want to post your personal email address, but you don’t want you business “friends” to have it, you can set up a list of only business people and then in you profile security setting tell it to not show that information to that group.
For status updates you can set up a group of people that are family and when you post an update that is family related you can choose to only have it show to that group. If someone is not in that group they will not see that update at all.
So if you are looking for a way to separate out your family information and your business associates information then lists and some security settings is the way to go. You can have up to 100 lists and each list can have up to 1000 people on it. And one person can even be on more than one list.
By using lists and your security settings you will be able to keep things separate if you feel you need to. This will allow you to use Facebook for business and personal and to keep things divided in a way that makes you feel more comfortable.