How do you balance Facebook for personal vs. professional use?
I get asked this personal branding question a lot these days.
Here is my 2-minute answer delivered at the Planning & Managing Your Web Identity Conference, hosted by Tecumseh Community Development Corporation in London Ontario on July 20, 2011:
Although, there isn’t any universally right answer to the question, I personally use one Facebook account for personal and professional use for three specific reasons:
1) Authenticity – I connect more authentically with other professionals in the community. Bob Burg (best selling author of The Go Giver), used to always say, “People like to do business with people they know, like, and trust.”
2) Marketing – Because I’m so active on Facebook, tbk Creative’s work stays top of mind for people throughout the year.
3) Integrity – It challenges me to live more transparently and stive to be a good person in every encounter. I’ve found myself asking more frequently the question, “Would I be comfortable if this conversation (or txt message or e-mail) was public on Facebook?” The answer to this question has become a guiding principle for my actions.
With all that said, I’ve identified 5 other ways professionals are using the social networking platform:
i) Personal use only. They don’t befriend any professionals and ofte times leave LinkedIn for that.
ii) Professional use only. They befriend friends and professionals, alike, but keep the content creation/curation geared towards professional purposes only.
iii) Two separate profiles. They setup one profile for personal use and one profile for professional use.
iv) Personal and professional but with restrictions. They restrict certain individuals from accessing their Wall, Photo Gallery, etc.
v) They don’t use it at all. They either prefer LinkedIn or gain eternal comfort with their binded rolodex.
So, How do you balance Facebook for personal vs. professional use, and why?
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Andrew Schiestel is the Chief of WOW! Projects at tbk Creative, a web design & social marketing agency that instigates and accelerates consumer action around brands. To contact Andrew about speaking at your upcoming web marketing & communications event, click here. Andrew can be followed on Twitter here.