How Appropriate is Your Facebook Use?
The internet's favourite story of the week is one from America concerning 26 year-old, Nicholas Wig who was reported to have been arrested for burglary after he logged into his Facebook account on his victims' laptop, and forgot to log out! As if that wasn't bad enough, when homeowner James Wood took to the criminal's Facebook page explaining what had happened to him, Wig responded and after some conversation the two arranged to meet back at Wood's house to exchange some of the stolen goods for Wig's belongings, which he somehow left back at Wood's house. Inevitably, Wood then called the police.
As ridiculously stupid as this story is, it does call questions into mind about how to use Facebook appropriately; where, when and how to use it, and how not to!
Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with your friends and family whilst also allowing you to share pictures and significant moments in your life. But as well as these personal uses, Facebook can also be an incredibly useful tool for marketing your business. Through Facebook you can gain more exposure for your business and keep people updated on what you're doing by posting news, advice and pictures.
When promoting your business on Facebook it is important to take some time to consider what you need to do to make your use of the social media both effective and appropriate. If you use Facebook for both personal and professional reasons, try to keep them separate. There are some things you'll want to share with your friends that might not be entirely appropriate for your work colleagues or clients to see. Conversely, constantly posting work updates and sales pitches might become annoying to your non-work friends. Because of this, it is a good idea to regulate who you share things with.
The best way of doing this is to create a 'Facebook Page' for your business, separate from your personal profile. This is quite simple to set up, and by doing so you can easily separate your business and your personal life by keeping personal updates and photos of you having fun with your friends off your Facebook Page. Then, set your personal profile to 'Private' so that only your friends can see the content of it.
Any friends, business contacts or prospects that 'Like' your Facebook Page will then receive updates that are related to your business. So if you've been hesitating over whether to accept that friend request from a business connection, set up your new Facebook Page and direct them there instead.
If you do choose to be friends with work colleagues/clients on your own Facebook profile then it is still advisable to separate these from non-work friends so that they only see certain things on your profile.
By altering your privacy settings you can control exactly who sees each post. In these settings you can choose whether you want the post to be seen by the public, just your friends, or a customised group of people. For example, you could compile a list of people to exclude from receiving certain updates, or you could split people into groups like Family, Friends, Close Friends, Colleagues, Clients, and then choose a certain group/groups to receive your updates. This can be applied to your profile generally but also to each individual update, so when you post something to your profile you can freely customise who sees it.