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My Top 3 Reasons Why You Should “Facebook Friend” Business Colleagues

April 29, 2014

facebook_linkedinI know some of you are not on Facebook.  Or, you are on Facebook and you read but do not post.  Or, you use Facebook purely for personal reasons.  Your LinkedIn profile is where you ‘link” with your business colleagues.  I want to challenge your use of Facebook right now.  Here are my Top (3) Three Reasons to “Facebook Friend Business Colleagues:

  • Deepen Your Business Relationships.
  • Stay Top of Mind.  You know you check your Facebook Feed more often than your LinkedIn Feed.
  • Turn a 3-minute Conversation into a 10-Year Friendship.

Last week, I was part of a panel  at the International IWIRC Spring Conference in Washington, DC.  IWIRC Talks Social Media (slides).    There were four restructuring professionals, each talking about a specific social media platform.  My focus was blogging.  The focus of Natasha Labovitz, a fellow bankruptcy lawyer who runs the Restructuring Group at Debevoise & Plimpton, in NYC, was Facebook.  She talked to the audience about how you can use Facebook professionally to deepen your relationships and maintain them over a long period of time.

I know, I know,  You are thinking- well I don’t want my business colleagues knowing everything or anything regarding my personal life.  But you must know that with the advent of social media there is now a blur between our professional and personal lives.   ALSO, know that you can use SEGMENTING to help you filter those posts that are for your business colleague audience, high school friends, college friends, etc. through “LISTS.”  Natasha said she always uses Lists.

When you post a “status update”  you are given the choice for certain “lists” to see such an update.  Natasha has a work list and spares her work buddies from every single family reunion or t-ball photo.

She has inspired me to try to do the same thing.

In the past, I carefully “friended” a few colleagues whom I had met years ago at various conferences.  Without a doubt, being Facebook friends with them has helped me to know them better and keep them top of mind when I travel to their cities.  Reading their posts has given me fodder for conversation when I see them again at the next annual conference.

I returned from the IWIRC Conference and the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI) Conference (they were back to back), with a stack of business cards.   While “networking”, some of my conversations were just a minute or two.  Friending each other on Facebook will allow me to extend that minute or two to years.    I am about to send follow up emails to everyone I just met and will ask most (maybe not all) of the people I met to friend me on Facebook if they are comfortable doing so.   This is a social media experiment for me but I have a strong feeling that it will work in my favor.

All of the usual warnings I give about posting to social media platforms still ring true.  See my Powerpoint regarding do/don’ts.   Be mindful of what your new Business Facebook friend will see.  Posts are permanent and can be viral and can get you fired.

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