Facebook – Keeping it Private


Following on from my earlier post on Facebook, I had an interesting chat with a colleague who indicated he had removed his Facebook profile because of the people who he had ‘friended’… Not because they weren’t friends (in this instance it was someone he’d known for over 20 years) but because of the profile picture THAT person had put up. My colleague said, “If a potential client comes to my profile and sees my friends and THAT picture … what’s that say about me?”

This was an interesting point. And this is precisely the reason why I advocate having a Facebook profile AND a business page if you’re in business. I’m not ‘in it for the numbers’ – and I know some people are. They love to be able to say “I have 5,000 friends on Facebook!” or “Wow, 30,000 people follow me on Twitter”.  OK – but how many of them do you actually know? How many of those are great business connections? How many do you actually network with?

To leverage social media correctly for business, I believe it’s about forming quality connections – not masses of them. When someone tries to connect to my personal Facebook Profile, I send them a brief message thanking them for the connection, indicating I only connect on my personal profile to people I actually know, and directing them to become fans of my business pages. You don’t have to say yes to everyone who wants to be your ‘friend’ if you don’t know them. It’s not about popularity.

Also, remember that someone you knew in primary school is probably not the same person now they were back then. Before accepting the friend connect, check out their profile a bit. If you can’t because of the settings, you can always ‘unfriend’ them later.

I have business colleagues on my personal profile, but I have my settings done in such a way that only my close friends see any pictures or videos I’m tagged in, or see any updates or notes I post.

Similarly, if fans post something ‘iffy’ on my business page, I delete the post. You can also set up your business page so that fans can’t post on your wall. Mine is set so that pictures, links and videos are not postable by fans.

It is important to keep an eye on who is becoming a fan of your business page and be sure to send a quick note thanking them for joining. And keep the content of your business page focused on quality – your fans are there because they have a genuine interest in what you provide so keep it professional and useful to them.

There is so much that can be user-defined on Facebook – you just have to start looking for it and change those defaults.

You can keep as much or as little of your info private as you wish. Facebook doesn’t have to be the monster it’s being made out to be and if you don’t know someone, you don’t have to click Accept. That’s one advantage of the digital world we live in!

(And of course the above comments apply to any social media you utilise for business.)

© Lyn Prowse-Bishop, http://www.execstress.com/


  1. Diane says:

    Great follow-up post, Lyn!

    I, too, concentrate on quality, not quantity whether it be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Plaxo, etc. I would rather follow/friend a selected number of people that I can interact with and that I can manage effectively over huge numbers. I value and appreciate my follows/friends whether personal or business.

    Diane Coville

  2. execva says:

    Thanks Diane! And that’s the key isn’t it? ‘Manage effectively’. If you can’t do that then to my way of thinking you’re not actually networking!

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