Do you add business and professional contacts on Facebook? I’ve had a strict policy of ‘no’ over the years, but have gradually changed. With social media and the open web, the line is blurring between Personal and Professional.
I conducted an unscientific poll by asking some professional contacts if they add their business contacts on Facebook. Almost all said ‘no’ and for the similar reason that Facebook was their ‘personal’ space (although many people argue that Facebook is not your personal space as they own your content – for another time!)
Business is personal!
I once heard a speaker (name escapes at the moment) say that he cringes when he hears the popular saying, “It’s business, not personal”. Business is inherently personal and in today’s hyper connected world, it is increasingly so. By connecting on Facebook, you get the personal perspective of the people that you conduct business with and they get the same from you. This raises the level of the relationship much higher than it could ever be by just connecting on other networks such as LinkedIn.
Many marketers are now encouraging brands to ‘Speak Human’ and professionals to drop the corporate jargon. I first heard this phrase from Eric Karjaluoto, who teaches in his book how to out market the big brands by getting personal. I completely agree with this approach. Connecting with business contacts on Facebook humanizes the relationship and allows you to easily ‘speak human’ with your professional Friends (not ‘contacts’). Marketers strive for a 360 degree view of their prospects, don’t you want this with the people you work with?
Personal and human connections = greater chance at success
Having personal connections and being able to speak human with your business friends enables greater chance at success with your projects. As business IS personal, you better know the people you are doing business with! If you know who you are working with, can speak human with them and relate on a personal level you will collaborate better and have a more productive relationship.
What about LinkedIn and other networks?
I really hope that LinkedIn does not turn into Facebook as my colleague Kaylynn argues is happening. I still agree that LinkedIn should be a place to go for business related content. Facebook should be your personal space, but you should also share it with business friends and reap the value of personalizing and humanizing the relationship.
I am not suggesting to connect on Facebook with every person you work with, or come in contact with in the business world as easily as you would on LinkedIn or Twitter. It would be strange and creepy to receive Facebook requests from strangers. I suggest consider connecting with those you have worked with over a period of time and already have an established relationship.
Do we work together? Feel free to connect with me on Facebook or follow us on our company FB page!
Do you connect with business Friends on Facebook? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Leave a note below to continue the conversation!