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Should You Use Facebook to Post Work Requests?

Submitted by on September 22, 2009 – 5:35 pm3 Comments

Here is another in my ongoing Forbes series, Social Sense and Sensibility. The idea is to help organizations understand how to properly leverage social tools for business use.
If you have any questions you would like answered please leave them in the comments, email me, or use Twitter. Rough transcript appears below the video.

Should you post work-related requests in your Facebook update?

Well that all depends on what your social network looks like inside of Facebook. If you are connecting with business partners, colleagues and customers – then I would say in that context it is fine since those requests will be reaching people who might care – or be able to support you.
Personally I use LinkedIn for all work related material. For the rest of my Life – there’s Facebook. So in my case – putting out work requests in Facebook wouldn’t make any sense unless I think my 20 year old sister in-law can give me advice on finding the right CRM application.
I use LinkedIn for a few reasons. First, LinkedIn is explicitly about business – so there is no confusion. Secondly – LinkedIn has a set of business-specific tools (answers, profiles that are structured around my resumé etc.) that help you make those work related requests.
If you are using Facebook for work consider creating a Friends list titled “professional” or “work” – that way you can gain a small semblance of distinction between these two aspects of your life.

Finally while we are on the topic of mixing work and Facebook let me sneak in one of my pet peeves, Don’t “friend” subordinates at work. This often puts them in an awkward position of being asked to expose personal parts of their lives. After all, you may not really have any professional interest what Joe in Accounting looks like after 12 beers and a losing game of strip poker…

3 Comments »

  • I completely agree, and I think I’d even go farther and say that work requests don’t belong on Facebook at all, even if you are connecting with colleagues and customers. It would be like walking up to people at the water cooler and trying to start a business meeting that really belongs in the conference room. Rudeness! It has to do with culture, the unspoken norms that have developed on all these sites. I don’t mind seeing work requests in my Twitter or LinkedIn feeds, but if I see more than one from somebody on Facebook, they get hidden from my news feed. I bet I’m not the only one.

  • Joshua-Michéle says:

    Two work requests and you get hidden — makes sense to me.

    One of my favorite quotes of late is that Social Tools Follow Social Rules — meaning that the same etiquette that applies to everyday social exchanges apply in social media… Your example of the rude watercooler behavior is a great example of a social rule…

  • CL says:

    I completely agree, and I think I’d even go farther and say that work requests don’t belong on Facebook at all, even if you are connecting with colleagues and customers. It would be like walking up to people at the water cooler and trying to start a business meeting that really belongs in the conference room. Rudeness! It has to do with culture, the unspoken norms that have developed on all these sites. I don’t mind seeing work requests in my Twitter or LinkedIn feeds, but if I see more than one from somebody on Facebook, they get hidden from my news feed. I bet I’m not the only one.

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