Facebook really lets itself when it comes to business. I have a Facebook page but from my point of view it’s pretty useless in our social media world. I can’t tag anyone on images (and they can’t tag me either), I don’t have a likes timeline (I have to try and find pages updates which is laborious especially on the app) and if someone else has a personal profile they will always default to my personal page.
I know a lot of businesses use their personal profile as their business page for usability and often merge both personal and business together. But I’m a bit uneasy about this and there are a number of reasons why.
Firstly, do I want business contacts knowing about my personal life? Thankfully there is never anything too embarrassing on my timeline. I’m not known for my drunken nights out, I have no kids and there are only so many pictures you can take of a bantam hen before they really start to look the same.
I am also fairly certain that business contacts really don’t want to know about what I had for dinner, what I’m up to at the weekend or how annoyed I get with our poor choice of Government. Equally, it means I can de-clutter my personal profile of the huge number of industry updates that mean I can no longer see the banal information my friends post on my timeline like pictures of their dinner/kids/animals/political rants.
My political views, my family and my personal photography projects amongst so many other things are really no business of anyone but friends and family. It distracts from my professional business exterior – not that I have anything to hide.
Employers use Facebook to find out about employees or business contacts and I have to confess to choosing not to work with several people because of some of the things I have seen or read on personal social media pages. I don’t know about your industry but mine does have some very shady characters within its midst and I’m not sure I want all of them to know about my private life.
If I had kids I might not want them seeing them at play or a photo of the front of my house, or where I am at that moment in time because I tagged myself at a venue I was at. Personal safety is just as important as business and for stalkers and other odd balls the internet is easy to negotiate if you really want to find someone.
So this week I set up a new personal profile for business. I’ve been inundated by friend requests lately from industry contacts who want to follow rather than ‘like’ what I do and it’s all getting a bit sketchy. Already I have managed to separate out my business and personal profiles and whilst it’s another account to keep an eye on, I do think it’s an important aspect of my business.
Do you keep your business and personal life separate or do you think they should be one and the same? What’s your experience both good and bad of running your business from your personal profile? I’m particularly interested in the horror stories out there with regards to personal safety or things you have found out about someone you really wish you hadn’t. I know models are sometimes stalked or harassed by photographers who won’t take no for an answer so is it wise to run your life from the same single profile?