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Are You Showing Your Face on Facebook?

…or another unsightly part of your anatomy, further south?

By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter

Fieldservicetech1 People are still figuring out how to use FB in their business. And, I think it can be a valuable tool, depending on your industry and target customer. Facebook - unlike LinkedIn (which is all business, or should be) - is/can be a combination of personal and professional - which is both good and bad. Where's the line? It's your decision; what works for one may not for another. (All "rules" aside.) As Yvonne noted in another post, My Facebook is not your Facebook.

To be effective in any type of social media, people have to open up a bit and be human (which is an unnatural act for corporations, by their very nature)…with some discretion.

I don’t use Facebook as a direct business development tool; however, it’s a great way to keep up with people who may at some point be a referral source…or maybe never and that’s okay too…in the meantime, I enjoy “talking” to them on a regular basis, even when we disagree (Hey, Isaac – how ya doing?)

For me, FB is more personal than business but I do try to have some discretion; I may be "out there" but there is still such a thing as Too Much Information. And, yes, some of my clients are also friends (Which is breaking at least one rule.  Like I said, it's a personal decision.) Of course, I don't always agree with some of my friends (just like in real, 3-D life),  but I like and respect smart people, so we move right along most of the time.

BUT and it’s a big BUT…there are limits to what should be said in any gathering – be it a cocktail party or virtual.

For example, one of my Facebook friend’s friends has what she describes as “Social Media Tourette Syndrome (”He’s really a great guy in person. Really.”) He’ll say anything to anybody on FB and delights in upsetting people. He thinks he's being "fun" and edgy; I think he's a pathetic, misogynistic attention whore.  And I'm pretty easy-going; I even enjoy (most) dumb blonde jokes.

Nothing is too out there, particularly when discussing anything remotely related to women. As a result, I ignore all of his comments, on FB or on blogs, even when he’s apparently being serious and talking about business. I see his name and immediately move on. He could be making excellent points, but I'm not interested. Would I refer business to him? Of course not. (I shudder to think what he might say to one of my clients.) Would I tell people (especially women) to run, run, the other way? You betcha.

Remember - whatever you put out there...STAYS out there these days. And, the line between business and personal has become so blurred, you never know who's out there.  Technologies rise and fall, but common decency and courtesy should always be in fashion. 

(And, no, I'm not saying who the guy is.  It's my FB friend's decision to keep him as a friend - and I respect that.  I just ignore him.)

Read More:

Yvonne's recent post, Facebook Can Be Fun (and you can still be professional, really.)

Facebook Etiquette - 5 Do's and Don't's (PC World)

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