According to a recent study, 71.2% of the US population is on Facebook. The vast majority of users are personal accounts, but most companies are warming up to the value of having a business page. That begs the question: How much overlap should there be between the two? Understandably, not everything that is shared on FB is appropriate for the workplace. However, if you’re not sharing what you do for a living with your personal friends, then you could be missing out on business leads.
I recently participated in a social media seminar at Netwave’s office. After we finished I posted on my personal Facebook page, “wrapping up with a social media seminar … I now know the finer points of tweeting!” The next day, I had a Facebook message from a college friend asking me if I could come talk to her about marketing for the company she works for. She saw my post, remembered that I worked in marketing, but didn’t really know what I did. After we spent a few moments catching up, we focused on the many ways Netwave could help them, including web design, SEO, event marketing and social networking. This meeting never would have occurred without this simple Facebook post on my personal account.
Networking is one of the most effective ways to drive sales, leads, or land a job. Social media is intended for sharing from our personal lives, but it is also a networking tool. Don’t be afraid to mix your business with pleasure on Facebook. However, don’t go overboard and start posting blatant sales messages. Keep it subtle. A real estate agent wouldn’t go to a dinner party and start handing out business cards, but she may mention to a few people that her agency recently listed the house on the corner. That’s mildly interesting to the attendees, but not obnoxiously salesy. It’s the subtleties that lead to successful business networking on Facebook.