In this series about developing learning plans for social media, we’ve covered Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google +. Our last installment is about Facebook. I intentionally saved Facebook for last. Of all the platforms, I believe Facebook is considered the most personal. Many people draw a line between their personal and professional lives … and do not want to see anything resembling business in their Facebook stream.
That might change with the introduction of Facebook at Work. The program is currently in beta, but it allows businesses to create their own social networks. Think of this as being similar to an enterprise social collaboration site.
I can see this having some traction. According to Pew Research, 58% of the entire adult population has a Facebook account. It would be easy to implement. The challenge is getting users comfortable using a platform for business that they’ve exclusively used for personal connections.
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to connect with family and friends. As of their last earnings report, Facebook has 1.39 billion monthly active users. It’s noteworthy that they say 1.19 billion (or roughly 8 in every 10) are mobile users.
How do I create a Facebook account?
Facebook is free. You can learn how to sign up for an account using their help page.
Your 5-Day Plan
DAY 1 – Post one piece of business news that interests you. Maybe it’s a blog post about leadership, an update about the new Windows 10, or a law that’s going to impact your industry.
DAY 2 – Like a business brand page. My guess is at least one of the vendors you currently do business with is on Facebook. For example, I follow my insurance carrier. I also follow HP for Business because I use their printers.
DAY 3 – Like a group related to your work. It can be a professional association like the Association for Training and Development (ATD), the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), or the National Association of African American Human Resources (NAAAHR).
DAY 4 – Like a government agency that pertains to your work. I’ve liked the Department of Labor and Healthcare.gov because I want to see their updates. Regardless of whether I use their services, it’s connected to my job.
DAY 5 – Create a friend category. At this point, it’s been about collecting information. If you feel comfortable, create a friend category and friend a business colleague. There are defaults in Facebook for acquaintances, family, friends, and close friends. Keep in mind, a colleague doesn’t have to be someone in your office. Oh, and make sure you’re comfortable with the privacy settings for that category.
BONUS! Share a post with a colleague. Tag them in it. See the image example above.
Facebook can be a valuable business tool without disrupting our personal space. I must admit, there are business things I just prefer to read on Facebook. And I do enjoy being connected to my HR friends there. Do we talk shop? Absolutely. But we also talk about football, cheeseburgers, martinis, and more.
Consider blending a little business and personal on Facebook. You might decide that you like it.
Image courtesy of Sharlyn Lauby