“How do I keep friends separate from my customers on Facebook?” was a question that came up at last week’s internet marketing workshop for small businesses.
Having separate profiles is NOT the way to do this. In fact, having separate profiles is against Facebook rules, and could get you banned from Facbook if they find out!
The way to solve this problem, is to use the Facebook List function.
I’ll let another internet marketing expert, Christi Wharton, give you the details in her recent blog post: Social Media Marketing How-to: Facebook Lists.
How using Facebook Lists can improve your internet marketing
Your profile is the centerpiece of your Facebook presence. Learn to live with that and love it.
As a small business owner you have more opportunity to learn about the needs, concerns, wishes and desires of your customers if you are following them on Facebook as friends rather than “likers” of your business page.
We talked in the workshop about having an intimate knowledge of your customers’ needs and concerns. Friending them allows you to connect at that level. However, you probably want to have control of their access to some of your opinions and activities. Lists allows you to do that.
Decide what “Lists” you need, in order to communicate with separate parts of your life. Then…
Christi shows you how to use the Facebook search feature to more easily separate out searchable categories such as your city or school. But setting up lists for your own private needs, such as “relatives,” “business associates,” “customers,” you’ll need to use a longer more labor intensive approach.
Go to your Facebook Profile, then click on “friends” in the left column. Then click on “edit friends” in the top right corner. NOTE: Facebook changes regularly, so be prepared to hunt for these things if they’re not exactly where I say they’ll be.
At the top, you’ll see a button, “Create a list.” Click that button which will take you to a form where you can enter a list name. You have the option of clicking on all the friends you want to appear on that list. I recommend you don’t do that now, if you’re creating several new lists.
Once you’ve created your new list name, click “friends” in the left sidebar to get back to your friends list, and repeat the process until you get all the list names entered that you need.
Now, to add people to each of your new lists, run your mouse down the blank space to the left of the little “x’s” in the list of your friends and “edit lists” magically appears!! Click “edit lists” and click the lists you want each friend to be a part of. If you have lots of friends, this will take some time, but it’s well worth the effort.
Now, every time you “friend” a new person, use the option of adding them immediately to one of your lists.
Christi does a nice job of showing you how to use the list option to limit who sees your Status Updates, and how to use Lists to limit who you see in your News Feed.
Life on Facebook will become a little more manageable!
Photo on Flickr by 27389271