Recently joined a discussion on LinkedIn about how to use Facebook for business – something I don’t do. In the process, made the following comments (you might be interested) you can always post your thoughts in reply.
I started by posting this question:
Should I accept FB friend requests from people I only know through business networking events?
I went on to explain:
I don’t have a FB page of business (and don’t want one) but I do have a personal page and I keep getting friend requests from people who, although perfectly charming, are not yet what I would call friends (don’t ask for a definition).
Do I reject (or worse ignore) and risk offending them – do I try to explain and sound lame (“I like you but not a lot”) – or do I open up my page to anyone I’ve met (or spoken to, tweeted with, etc.) and just hide the time-lines of people I’m not that interested in?
Various people said I should keep Facebook purely for friends – but, as I pointed out, all three platforms seem to blur the distinction between friend, acquaintance and stranger.
This led me to the following observations:
Unlike some, I don’t protect my Twitter posts (can’t see the point) – so anyone is welcome to follow me – however I don’t automatically follow everyone back: a) because it is pointless – as I have said elsewhere, just because someone ‘follows’ you, doesn’t mean they actually pay attention, b) I prefer to only follow people that I find interesting or engaging (I use private lists to make this easier). I have met very few of these people for real – though I’m pleased to say that is slowly changing.
I tend to agree with the view that just because we connect on Twitter, doesn’t mean we should connect on LinkedIn or Facebook. I used to keep LinkedIn specifically for business people I had actually met or worked with – but I have gradually relaxed that rule to include local business people that I have met on Twitter/Facebook AND am likely to meet at a LinkedIn group networking event. Still, I don’t just link with anyone who asks. Again it comes down to the quality of the connection not just the quantity – I like my connections to reflect some sort of professional or social engagement or shared interest.
Facebook is the odd one – I only joined it to keep in touch with a couple of relations who weren’t on LinkedIn. However, setting up the #Norwich2013 campaign page last year brought me into virtual contact with quite a few people who are also passionate about local culture. After they joined the group they sent friend requests that I could not decline because they had already given me a lot of public support. So now some 30-40% of my FB friends are people I only know through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Since my FB posts tend (like my Twitter posts) to be more about #VisitNorfolk, #VisitNorwich and #Norwich201 than anything particularly personal (and have nothing to do with business), I can’t help wondering whether I shouldn’t throw caution to the wind and link with anyone so long as I know them from at least one other platform (and preferably that they are local – so I stand a chance of meeting them). This would tend to reflect the sort of pages/groups that I like.
You see, FB feels to me more like a public space for engaging and campaigning rather than a private chat-room (I have my home and the phone for that). Does anyone else feel the same?