Saturday, November 20, 2010

Facebook: Personal or Professional?

Facebook has, for most of its history, been seen as a personal social network. On Facebook you can let your hair down a little and interact with your college buddies, family, and close friends. You share pictures and videos from recent vacations or of your baby’s first steps. You post your personal opinions on random topics such as your favorite pizza toppings or who/what is annoying you today. If you want to do any business networking, there is LinkedIn. On LinkedIn you can input your resume, get recommendations, and set up a Group around your company, product, service, or industry and several other business-related activities. The problem here, as is the case with every other social network currently, is that Facebook is growing at such a fast pace that you can’t ignore it. Facebook is currently growing at the rate of a completely new LinkedIn user base every 4 weeks or so.

What has been interesting when comparing personal versus professional networks has been the move by some companies to allow access to LinkedIn but deny access to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or other social networks.

Right now you’re probably wondering why we’re even talking about personal versus professional personas. Everyone has both personal and professional lives that they separate. You’re a different person on the weekends around your family and friends than you are when sitting across the boardroom from your boss, customers, or vendors. Right?

Surely, I understand the hesitation between whether you should blend your personal and professional lives. Some people, myself included, have decided that everything we do is our life. We don’t distinguish, for the most part, between a personal and professional life. I want business partners to know my personal interests in the Red Sox, Jay-Z, gadgets, and everything else that I am a fan of or have an interest in. People from both my personal and professional lives can see pictures from my wedding or my recent vacation. For me, it translates into a lot of business.

People can establish a 360-degree view of who I am. They can get to know me as an individual before we ever meet at a networking event or have a conference call about a potential partnership. We can interact on a personal level that might lead to establishing a professional relationship. After all, at our professional core, we prefer to do business with friends. We trust our friends and hope that our friends trust us. We would never want to do anything against our friends that might disappoint them, put them into a precarious position, or hurt them. Therefore, we tend to work harder when we do business with friends. It is usually more enjoyable and easier as well. Facebook provides the perfect opportunity for this to occur.

This blending of personal and professional also helps to develop a strong community, real friends, and interesting conversations. However, not everyone feels comfortable with, or has the ability, to make that melding between their personal and professional lives. But, even if you don’t want to cross these two areas of your lifestyle with one another, and you prefer to keep Facebook personal and LinkedIn professional, you still should consider establishing a corporate presence.

Source of Information :  Facebook Marketing Designing Your Next Marketing Campaign
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