The Blogger’s Facebook Dilemma – when personal mixes with business

I think its a blogger’s natural inclination to create a Facebook Page that is linked with their personal facebook account. But the issues arrives when your blogger friends find your personal account and request to friend you. But you feel business and personal accounts need to stay separate. What do you do?

The dilemma was recently brought up in a panel discussion at the LTD Expo. And I thought it was topic to shed some advice on.

“People who have joined my Facebook Page or read my blog have discovered my personal account and are now asking me to add them. But this is my account with family and friends. I would like to keep that separate. How do I direct people to my Facebook page, for business, and politely decline adding them on my personal account?”

I think every blogger who uses Facebook to their social media advantage has come across this problem. Luckily there are a couple of solutions.

Open a new facebook profile account

Consider opening a new facebook profile account used just to connect with your blogging friends. You are allowed to add up to 5,000 friends. In order for someone to see your profile, you will need to accept their friend request.

When you reach the 5,000 friend threshold, then its time to create a Facebook page. The purpose of a facebook page is to profile your business by offering great information in a public manner. And is perfectly acceptable to use for commercial purposes.

Facebook Profile vs. Facebook Page

Facebook Profile Page
Terms of Service You can sign up for one Facebook account per email address
(although terms say, “You will not create more than one personal profile”)
for personal use
For commercial use – can use to promote services and products
Action Add as Friend Like
Terminology Friends Fans
Number of Connections up to 5,000 Unlimited
Privacy Can set privacy settings No Privacy Settings
Messaging Options Post on Friend’s Walls, send private message via inbox, and IM on Facebook chat
Create groups and send group status updates
Post on wall appears in news feed
Additional Details Custom URL, personal use only Custom URL (after 25 likes) and indexed by Google

*BTW, thank you for helping me capture my page name on Facebook

Create Groups and Friend’s Lists

With the recent changes to Facebook, you can now create Groups and Friends list. I’m loving it!

Facebook Groups

If you decide to add your blogging friends to your friends & family account – you can now create Facebook Groups. With a group, you can post updates, links, photos, videos, events or docs to the group. As an example, I have created a friends & family group. When I have something of a personal nature to discuss, I can post an update just for them to see.

To create a group:

  • Login to Facebook account
  • Click “Create Group” in the left hand column of the home page
  • A pop-up box will appear, where you will be able to add a group name, invite members and select the privacy settings for your group.
    The only downfall, is that you need to type in people’s names by memory. You do not have the choice to view and pick your friends from a selection.
  • Click “Create Group” when you are finished.

and you can control the privacy of the groups you create:

  • Open: For Open groups, everyone on Facebook can view the group and join. The group will appear in search results and all content (e.g., photos, videos and discussions) is visible to anyone viewing the group.
  • Closed: For Closed groups, everyone on Facebook can see the name and members of a group, but only group members can view content in the group.
  • Secret: These groups cannot be found in searches, and non-members can’t see anything about the group, including its name and membership list. The name of the group will not display on the profiles of members.

Friend’s List

The other great feature – Friend’s List (I think they stole the idea from Twitter). ;)
For me, I use this list to view/select just my friend’s and family member’s status updates.

To create a Friend’s List:

  • Go to your Friend’s Page (left hand column, click “Friends”)
  • In the upper right, click “Edit Friends”
  • Click the “Create a List” Button
  • Enter a List name, select friends, and “Create a List”

When you are on your News Feed wall, select the drop down menu “Most Recent”, go down and select the list you want to view. Now you will see status updates just from those in your Friend’s lists.

Politely Decline

If you chose not to add people to your personal account, you can do one of two things:

1. On the requests page, you can choose “Ignore”. Doing so will remove the request from your Requests list. They will not be notified that their friend request was declined, but they will be able to send you another friend request in the future.

2. Another option, is to “Ignore” the friend request, but send them a message stating that this is a personal profile and they might enjoy checking out your Facebook page. There is no guilt in having your personal life kept private.

Do you use Facebook Groups or Friend’s List? How are they working out for you? Please share you comments below.

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About Christine McCarthy

Social Media Enthusiast, Tech Geek & Whole Foods Lovin' | Here to discuss Internet Marketing, Blogging, Social Media & Search Engine Optimization | Twitter: @christinebiz | Facebook: ChristineBiz

Comments

  1. Nice article Christine, I actually added an article to one my my sites that touches base on a similar subject- http://bit.ly/hmxifA

  2. I tend to go by the general “rule” that I have to have at least met someone in person or interacted with them for a long time online before I’ll accept a friend request on my personal home page. But I do think lists are a great option, especially since you can direct posts to a specific group. I have fan pages for both my blog and debt app, and I “like” other blogs because I enjoy having their posts pop up in my Facebook news. So I guess count me as “somewhere in the middle” when it comes to using personal vs. fan pages.

    • Christine McCarthy says:

      Jackie! It was so great to finally meet you this weekend. Did you guys have fun at Disneyland? I love that place. Wish it wasn’t so darn expensive!
      I think that is a great rule to have with regards to adding people to your account. With FB coming out with list, its made the news wall a bit more user friendly. I don’t know that my friends and family care for me posting about my biz on the news wall, but so far they seem kosher with it all.

      Since you have multiple FB pages, check out Hyper Alters. They email you anytime you receive a new comment or post on your FB page.

    • Jackie! It was so great to finally meet you this weekend. Did you guys have fun at Disneyland? I love that place. Wish it wasn’t so darn expensive! I think that is a great rule to have with regards to adding people to your account. With FB coming out with list, its made the news wall a bit more user friendly. I don’t know that my friends and family care for me posting about my biz on the news wall, but so far they seem kosher with it all. Since you have multiple FB pages, check out Hyper Alters. They email you anytime you receive a new comment or post on your FB page.

    • Jackie! It was so great to finally meet you this weekend. Did you guys have fun at Disneyland? I love that place. Wish it wasn’t so darn expensive! I think that is a great rule to have with regards to adding people to your account. With FB coming out with list, its made the news wall a bit more user friendly. I don’t know that my friends and family care for me posting about my biz on the news wall, but so far they seem kosher with it all. Since you have multiple FB pages, check out Hyper Alters. They email you anytime you receive a new comment or post on your FB page.

  3. Little House says:

    I have two separate Facebook accounts: one is personal and one is blog related. This way I can separate my private life from my blog life. I also do this because my blog is still quasi-anonymous. My friends and family really don’t know about my blog. ;) I haven’t tried the fan page yet, but I like the idea.

    • Glad you could stop by! And so happy you came to the meetup and I finally was able to put a ‘face to the name’. Erica and Claire gave a great presentation this weekend, too.

      I am still considering moving my personal account over, too. But, having multiple accounts can also be time consuming. So there are pros and cons. So far, I am managing well with using the groups and list (so glad FB finally got smart ;))

      A page is good, and if you look under Jackie’s comments – there is a link for Hyper Alerts. They email you anytime someone posts or comments on your page. Totally helps. Why didn’t FB think of it?! LOL. Hope you’ll come to the next meet up! I’m trying to come up with a presentation topic. Think it would be good for me to do.

  4. Here’s what I do: I have a personal Facebook “profile” page for myself, my friends, my family, and acquaintances I’ve met through the years. I have a separate profile page for the work I do on Consumerism Commentary and as a writer. In addition, I have a page for Consumerism Commentary. This way, readers can connect via the Consumerism Commentary page, colleagues and interested/involved readers can “friend” me for a different type of connection with my identity, but most of the people who have known me before my “Flexo” days can associate with me on my more personal profile.
    Flexo recently posted..Ally Bank in Talks to Buy ING DirectMy Profile

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