Facebook for business or pleasure?
I’ve been on facebook a couple of years now, and I love it. It’s fun, I get to have a laugh with my friends- lots of my friends are living in England and I’m based in Dublin so it’s great; a cost effective way to stay connected to people I care about. It has gotten me reconnected with friends that I haven’t seen in 10 or 20 years. Often conversations have been sparked off by comments on friends status updates, and I’ve made new facebook friends in this way. I’ve also made new real friends through facebook- friends of people I already know, that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in “real” life too.
Then there’s the random friend requests I receive from complete strangers, serial networkers, who, for the most part don’t even tell me why they want to be my friend. I’ve accepted these requests in the past, but given them limited access to my information. This has it’s pro’s and cons. I would like to make use of my online presence so that I remain open to business opportunities. In fact I’ve got clients through facebook- from people clicking through to my website and reading my blog, from reading my status updates & initiating conversations with me. And that’s something I want to maintain and make good use of, especially as I coach because I love what I do- I love making positive differences to people’s lives. I had one experience where I had to remove someone from my friends as they were contacting all my friends and spamming them. I’ve also had to remove posts to my wall that were advertisements for their business!! I mean really, just HOW on earth do you think that is ok?
There is another drawback to this situation- facebook has now, more than ever become my public face. It’s become the way I am seen by the world, it’s become a marketing tool and I’ve become more and more prudent about what I do and don’t share. That has affected the social side of facebook- I can no longer be blaze and carefree about what I’m laughing about. I can no longer openly discuss, or have debates about personal views. Things can often be misinterpreted. Also at times I want to let off a bit of steam to my friends, have a rant about something that I find irritating, sometimes even I ask for help. These things are not congruent with my brand. They make me human of course, but when people look for coaching/inspiration they want to see the solutions to their own issues, not someone in the middle of one! If you drink then you’ve also got the added risk of drunken photo’s being uploaded, thankfully I don’t have this one but I do attend parties and am in photo’s where others are in this situation!
One solution is to set up a business page- which I’ve done, but having separate status updates for another social media account is really not that attractive for me- I want to be more efficient and reduce the workload, not increase it!
Sadly this means that my facebook profile, although still very sociable, has shifted its emphasis. I’ll miss the open discussions I’ve had in the past. Sure I’ll still be able to keep in touch with my friends, and make new ones, but not in the same way.
Think carefully about how you use your online presence, social media is very useful and practical, but if you’re using it as a marketing tool the social aspect can be reduced dramatically.
It’s the age old dilemma, do we mix business with pleasure?
Connect with my personal account www.facebook.com/ClaireBoyles
Or my business page: www.facebook.com/ManagementMatters