I often have clients that need advice about separating their personal and business contacts, especially on Facebook. However, I also advise against a big 'separation.'
While I understand the need for privacy, I'm also an advocate for getting to know people. It's that human connection that allows people to get to know you, like you, trust you... and yes -eventually-buy from you.
When I meet someone at a networking event or I engage with them online, I often invite them to join me on social channels, including an invitation to friend me on Facebook. Most accept my request.
However, I still have a good number that send me a private message and tell me one of two things:
1. I only connect with personal friends and family on Facebook, not business contacts. I hope you understand.
2. I'll accept your friend request, but I like to keep my Facebook page separate for people I don't know. I prefer to engage with business professionals on my fan page, which you can like here.....
My response to #1: Yes, I understand. Thank you for letting me know.
What I really think about #1: I do understand, but it makes me sad that you don't get it. You've labeled me as a business contact and nothing more. Guess I won't get to know you enough to "like you, trust you, and buy from you."
My response to #2: Thanks, Jane. I am a fan of your page, however, you haven't updated it since June, so I thought we could engage here.
What I really think about #2: Way to blow the first one-on-one connection we have with each other.
For those of you who aren't aware, you can create friend lists and filter your connections. You can allow them to see what you want them to see and you can post updates specific to friend lists. (More on lists)
For those of you who make the privacy argument, the bottom line is still this: don't post anything online - personal page or otherwise - that you wouldn't want plastered where the ball drops!
It's the internet -whether you are aware of it or not-you're everywhere!
Ken Mueller said in a recent Q&A for my blog, "I DO care what you had for breakfast. I'm building a relationship."
It's time to be human, to be real, to be you, and to let others get to know you.
How are you getting to know your current and potential clients? Are you still fearful to embrace this line of thinking?