Balancing Personal and Professional on Facebook
Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
By now, you probably have a Facebook account. According to some recent reports, there are nearly 750 million other people on Facebook as well.
But no matter how long you’ve had an account, you may still be struggling with this question: how do I balance my personal and professional lives on my Facebook profile?
That is a very important question to address. Facebook can be a powerful tool in your professional networking belt. However, we may also use it to stay connected with neighbors, friends, and family members. Sometimes the events that happen with the latter group may not necessarily be things that we want to share with a customer or prospect. And vice-versa. How can you manage that balance and separation effectively?
To help people deal with this challenge, Facebook has started rolling out fairly significant changes to its Privacy and Sharing features. Here are some tips on how to go about utilizing and benefiting from the new settings, along with a few rules of thumb for finding the right balance in your Facebook usage.
Know What Your Audience Can See and Do
When you are using Facebook, it is important to know who can see what you are posting, what pictures and videos you are tagged in, what people are saying to you, etc. If you are connecting with prospects, customers, and other folks in your industry on Facebook, you will certainly want be aware of what those folks see when they view your Profile page.
One new feature of Facebook’s modified privacy settings allows users to approve or deny items that they’ve been tagged in. This may include photos, location check-ins, and status updates. This may certainly help you to better manage what you want others to see when they visit your page.
If you haven’t managed them in a while, make sure to review your current Facebook privacy settings. You have control over who can post on your Wall, who can send you Friend Requests, and more.
Everyone can see your profile picture. Thus, while you certainly might want to find a way for your profile picture to show off a bit of your personality, you should strive to keep it appropriate for everyone.
Locations and Check-Ins
Facebook has also made some changes to its location-based services and check-in features. Locations can now be tagged into any status, any picture, and any album. This means that it may easier than ever for your associates to indicate where you are at, and thus, this will allow all of your other contacts to see that as well.Facebook’s security settings give you control over whether you’ll grant your Friends the ability to do this, or whether you want the opportunity to review and approve those check-ins.
Work Experience, Interests, Activities
Make sure that you’ve updated your Facebook profile to include current work information. Much like LinkedIn, having your work experience updated can only benefit you. Showcase your talents and favorite projects. Also, make sure that you list interests and activities that portray the image that you want people to have of you.
If you are seeking to primarily use Facebook for business, consider creating a Page instead of a Profile. For example, think of how a photographer could do this. On their Facebook Page, they could showcase their photos, have contact information and other helpful content to expand their business. Then, they could maintain a separate personal profile, which may help them to truly keep work and play separated.
Facebook can certainly be a very helpful tool for people that are looking to expand their professional and personal networks. By understanding all of the features Facebook offers through their Privacy settings and by using some common sense, you’ll also be able to use it grow your business as well while maintaining a healthy balance.