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facebook – business and pleasure don't mix for me

Just now I posted a message to Facebook.
“It is 3am but I have had a moment of enlightenment so it’s time to share it, now the clarity of decision is there- I mean here, in my mind.

My personal Facebook account is not going to be used for business anymore.
There – I said it.

What does this mean?
Well it means that I will cut out some friends – the ones who are not friends and are likely never to be.
Yes I risk offending some business associates but frankly as I am going to make this Facebook page about my personal life then I don’t really care.
Also I think some business people will just stop following my Facebook info too because it adds no value (not that it added much for business before but you know what I mean).
BTW for those people in business who are reading this you can still follow my business thoughts and activities on Twitter, LinkedInand of course on the altex blog.

The reason for this split is that I personally think business and pleasure do not mix well in social media as I explained when I gave a short lecture/presentation at the Estonian PR Association recently.

Having told people not to mix both on one account I started to feel a bit stupid as that’s exactly what I have done up until now even though I have known for a while now that it does not make sense.

I do not like the fact that business people who I hardly know send me business info via Facebook. From now on I will delete ones who do and anyway I can’t believe my friends really care about my business or that my business associates care about whether my daughter’s potty training is going well or not (it’s not btw, she does not like potties and it’s becoming an issue).

Don’t get me wrong, we might well set up a company Facebook account.
I DO think Facebook can and does work for business well.
It’s the personal-business mix that doesn’t.

So that’s it.
Ciao for now.”

Back to bed.

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There are 5 comments .

Andrus

Why donät you create a facebook page for those who would like to follow your work on facebook?

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Robin Gurney

We probably will.
It’s a question of time plus we are reviewing our social media strategy and policies now so we won’t rush.

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Kimmo Linkama

Wise decision, Robin. I started to dabble with Facebook at a personal level — just to be on the safe side — and it definitely seems that at least in Finland and Estonia it’s best left to personal contacts.

A group or fan page for business is another story. Contemplating that myself at the moment. It will be interesting to see what kinds of decisions you’ll make!

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Aaron Savage

You have highlighted a very interesting point here. The question of Business and pleasure I suspect is about to become a hot topic in social media. Facebook is the first time that a site has blurred that line. Prior to Facebook it was a simple thing. Sites such as MySpace and LiveJournal were for personal life and sites such as LinkedIn were for business. I agonised over the decision to include business related Facebook updates for quite a while. As someone who runs a digital marketing agency it is an important choice for me. I took two points into consideration when making the decision.

The first was a concept called Declarative Living which I was introduced to by James Governer over a pint a good few years ago now. His point was that you are the sum of your business and personal life and so why should y divorce one from the other. The decision to work with you can be as much a question of chemistry as anything and so including your hobbies and interests might be the key decider. He also argued that if you are diametrically opposed as people then that may not be a good thing for your business relationship. I had to admit he had a point.

The next point I took into consideration was that I am kidding myself if people would not look me up as a person as well as a professional. With a name like mine it’s easier to do this but it is surely the same for everybody to a greater or lesser extent. I know I haven’t hired anyone in the last four or five years without Googling them and checking out what I can about them. I do the same for clients and business partners. Its generally not difficult to find stuff and I assume that everyone else does the same thing.

So therefore given that it would be impossible to hide things about myself and stop people finding out about it then it is my responsibility to live as good a life as I am able and to actually declare it.

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Kimmo Linkama

Aaron, I understand your point about a person’s private self being an inseparable part of his or her business self, but as you pointed out, it’s relatively easy to look a person up using today’s search options.

That’s why I’m inclined to separate the two aspects of myself just like Robin. People who are interested in me from the business point of view should not be burdened by details of my private life. It’s a bit like going to a business meeting and listening to people going on and on about their children, dogs, holidays, restaurant experiences, the performance of their favourite football team last weekend or whatever, thereby wasting the time of those who’d like to get on with the business. The same, of course, works for my private life. If I started inserting business messages into my personal interaction forums, the yawns and unfollows would be quick to manifest themselves. The parallel here being a casual cocktail party where you bore the heck out of everybody by only talking about your business.

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