I spend a good percentage of my working day on Facebook, and there’s no denying that it is a damn powerful business tool, but as far as I’m concerned there are several big no-nos when it comes to mixing Facebook and business. Here are mine, feel free to share yours below in the comments section.
1) Sending a Facebook friend request to a stranger you’d like to add as a business contact
This is what Linkedin is for- a whole social networks dedicated to professional contacts, as opposed to Facebook, where I share details of my private, non-work related life. Linkedin- definitely. Twitter-OK, Facebook- big No-No. I’ve got pictures of my kids up, and I have no idea who you are, so no, I don’t want to be your Facebook friend.
2) Spamming your personal friends’ Facebook walls with promotions for your company
I don’t mind reading peoples’ work stuff on Facebook, if it is potentially interesting/informative/amusing. But I don’t like being spammed by way too many ads for your company. That is not what I signed up for when I friended you, and you are making my finger inch towards the “block” button.
3) Adding your entire friend list to a Facebook group for your business
This is frankly annoying, and makes me not want to not be your friend any more. I’m happy to be added to a group for something that you feel is personally relevant to me. I’m not happy to be added to your irrelevant business group, and neither are the other 600 people you’ve added to it, only to receive a million irritating updates that they never signed up for. Not cool.
So how can you use Facebook to grow your business?
1) It is a great business initiative to create a Facebook fanpage, and ask your friends to like it and share it. This is a great promotion tool, especially for small businesses.
2) It is very OK to post a Facebook status telling your friends to look out for job opportunities for you, and even to tailor your Facebook profile to make it “employer friendly”, see here.
3) It is highly recommended to join job-hunting groups on Facebook, or professional interest groups. This should be in addition to Linkedin groups, where your main professional focus should be.
4) It is really fine to post up business related info on your Facebook wall, or link to your business blog IF it can benefit or be of interest to your Facebook friends. To make sure you don’t violate the big no-no above, ask yourself “What will my friends get out of this?” before sending the post button.
What do you think? Do you add random work-related people on Facebook? Have you de-friended a Facebook friend for a work-related faux-pas? All comments welcome!