Using Facebook Professionally

So are y’all using facebook professionally? Are you listing your real employer? Are you friends with co-workers?

I’ve always kept my facebook profile visible to friends only, and I never friend coworkers or other professionals in my field – or at least I never intended to.

Turns out, I’m friends with folks I went to college with, who were just friends when I added them, but now they’re other working professionals in my field – people who could potentially open doors to new opportunities (or I could open doors to new opportunities for them).

I’m not going to un-friend them, but it’s already opened the door to being Facebook friends with other professionals in my field.

Also, in the consulting engineering industry, being well-known (and well-liked) by colleagues is extremely important, almost as important as your technical skills themselves, and I think some others in my field are beginning to use it professionaly in ways similar to Linked In, or just allowing other professionals to have a little window to their personal lives.

So what do you think? How are you using Facebook?

10 comments to Using Facebook Professionally

  • Joe Reinemann

    I don’t like to “friend” colleagues on Facebook I see this as the biggest advantage of Google + and am considering hopping over to that platform in the near future.

  • Kassie

    I have lots of friends who are co-workers, partially because I have a huge employer, the State of Minnesota. I obviously friend them on Facebook. I also have some co-workers as Facebook friends who aren’t real friends and recently someone who was a Facebook friend became my new boss. But I don’t have a problem with that because I watch what I say and have certain privacy features in place.

  • John is all about linkedin for keeping up with college and work colleagues. It’s nice for him to see where everyone is now, talk to them about their careers and get in contact and then talk offline, and acquaint himself with new clients, without having to subject everyone to political views or personal info. I’d think if you’re friends enough at work to go out to lunch together and share personal info, you’re friends enough for facebook, but I’m not too selective about my friendships on there. My sister in law only is friends with people she’s seen in the last year and talks to regularly. So…whatever is your facebook flavor, I guess.

  • I’m moderately reserved in my Facebook friends list. I’m pretty strict about not adding coworkers. A few have added me and I’ve accepted. I’m also friends with old coworkers who I actually wanted to keep up with outside of work. That’s about it though. Facebook is family and friends and I really try to limit it to that. If people want to connect with me professionally, LinkedIn is where it’s at.

  • Interesting – What about when getting to know someone on a more personal level IS a business decision? When bonding with a colleague over your similarly aged kids or something is very likely to be a smart business move?

  • I don’t friend people from work either. Though really, Facebook now allows you to totally compartmentalize things by creating lists you can limit what groups of people see. There is less threat now with the right security settings.

  • If getting to know someone personally is a business decision, then go for it. I find those cases few and far between, but they do happen. I don’t really put any more of a filter on what I’d want a potential colleague (or current colleague) to see than I do for what I’d want my friends, siblings, or mom to see. Actually, it may be more of a filter for my relatives than for my coworkers.

  • Joe

    I have what is essentially a “no boundaries” policy when it comes to social media. There are exceptions, and they aren’t necessarily rational – for example, not being friends with my direct supervisor. Anyway, the general philosophy goes like this: I’m always going to want my employer/coworkers to appreciate me personally as well as professionally, so why waste time trying to separate the two? This might sound desperate, but it’s not about being liked. It’s more about me being a package deal – you don’t just hire professional Joe, you hire personal Joe. To quote a great sage from the 20th century “I am what I am” – Popeye the Sailor Man.

  • I am way weird. I set up my Facebook years ago with a fake name and fake email address and nothing specific that would tie me to me (only my alma mater). Then just a couple months ago my boss put me in charge of updating our business Facebook account and I had to tie my Facebook account into my work facebook. So, my solution…create a new, real Facebook! Surprisingly, I have had zero friend requests since I set up the new for real Facebook. I could go on and on and in the end have no words that would help you out. :)

  • Well, I’m not a super professional person, but I do care about my reputation with all people, not just people I work with… so, that being said, I could be friends will any and all coworkers and boss and everything, simply because, on facebook or the internet in general, I choose not to make a fool of myself drastically enough to lose my job or reputation, etc. If you’re tempted to say something that coworkers or your boss would look down on your for, save it for your friends when you’re physically with them in real life. (or put it in a message to the ones that won’t look down on you for being yourself). Don’t write it on yours or anyone’s wall. And that goes for people who do or don’t friend their coworkers. Because, let’s face it, many of our parents are also our friends on facebook! lol!

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