Keeping Professional and Personal Lives Separate on Facebook

A lot of social media sites allow pretty much anyone to follow you and see everything you post. Facebook is one of the few that still requires you to accept a friend request before anyone can see your profile. Assuming you have decent privacy settings, the average person can’t see your photos and posts unless you’ve accepted their friend request.

This is why my personal Facebook page is the one place I share a lot more personal stuff. I post more pictures, talk about friends and family, and comment in slightly less professional tones. Because strangers can’t see it. I don’t have a thousand friends and I can actually tell you how I’m connected to each one of the “friends” I do have. Those people are all there because I have agreed to let them see me.

Now that’s not to say that I’m not still me on other sites like Twitter or Google+. But it’s definitely a more polished version of me. Why? Because anyone can follow me and I use these sites for professional purposes. I want to be perceived as professional – first impressions really do matter!

The same thing goes for my Facebook business page. It’s just that – a business page. And I treat it as such. I think of it like an office. I “dress” professionally and speak a little more cautiously. I post relevant information for my followers and keep the tone optimistic and professional – just like I would at work.

But just because I’m more professional, doesn’t mean it’s not me. I love interacting with every single person on my page. It’s still 100% me all the time. I write the way I talk and I post the occasional personal post but I don’t post my weekend photos or talk about how tired I am or any other personal situations. And for those people that are on both pages, I think they would tell you that I am pretty much the same person on both pages.

But it’s important to keep the two pages separate. My personal page is personal and my business page is business.

I don’t share a lot of my business page posts to my personal page because if my friends didn’t like my business page, they probably aren’t interested in seeing those posts. And if they did like my business page, they don’t need to see the information twice in their news feed.

Continuing with the desire to keep the pages separate, I don’t accept Facebook friend requests from online connections. Why? Because I don’t really know them. I am happy to connect on any other platform or on my business page. But my personal Facebook page is for personal connections only. I’m sorry if this offends people on Facebook when I turn down their requests. But I do always send a nice message explaining my reasons.

I should put a disclaimer here that I have accepted a couple friend requests from online connections but that’s only been after getting to know those people and respecting them as “friends”.

Now, this is my opinion and how I use my pages. You may find something different works for you. And that’s fine. Just be careful about how you mix business with pleasure on Facebook.

Photo credit: Frederic Poirot

4 thoughts on “Keeping Professional and Personal Lives Separate on Facebook

  1. I think separating the two is a good rule to follow. As you say, it is not that you are not “you” on your business pages, it is simply that you are the “work you”. My personal page has many different things than my business page, and I plan to keep it that way!

  2. Small business owners and particularly network marketers, are clueless about the why and how-to capitalize on having a business page to promote their personal or business “brand.” I enjoyed your thought leadership Jenn.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post Mike! Unfortunately, you are correct, and a lot of small business owners or marketers don’t understand the value of a separate page. They use their personal pages too much and it dilutes the “business” message with their personal information. It come across as unprofessional and is actually a negative effect. Then these are the same people who complain that Facebook (or other sites) don’t work for their business.

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