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Keep Your Personal and Professional Lives Separate on Facebook

October 30, 2008 - Facebook

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Note: This post was last updated March 7, 2014.

At first glance, one would not think of Facebook as a professional networking site. When I finally signed up, I was shocked at the number of business contacts that I had that were already on Facebook. I quickly learned that I had to learn how to keep professional and personal sides of my Facebook account separate.

Here are a few tips that have helped me keep my two worlds apart:

Create Friend Lists: Separate your friends based on how you met them, etc. For example in my profile I have quite a few lists going: “networking” for people I met through business networking events, “clients” for clients, “high school”, “college”, etc. Just click on the “Friends” tab to edit and create lists.

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Create a Facebook Page: You can always create a Facebook page, which is different from a Facebook profile. A Facebook profile is personal, where all your friends can “friend you”. A Facebook page is public and users can choose to follow you.

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For more tips on how to Keep your Personal and Professional Lives Separate on Facebook as well as other timely organizational tips,

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How to Keep your Personal and Professional Life Separate on Facebook
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Learn how to organize your friends on Facebook
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Take control of your Facebook Presence
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› tags: college / Facebook / personal / professional / social media /

Comments

  1. [...] the business world is Facebook. To learn how to keep you professional and personal life separate, click here. MCNY also has a fan page on Facebook. It is also located on the MCNY Social Networking [...]

  2. [...] Keep Your Personal and Professional Life Separate on Facebook [...]

  3. [...] Just today a colleagues of mine skyped me to let me know that she’d take me off her friends at Facebook in an effort to keep personal and professional networking separate, since she did not want too many friends of friends knowing about the mundane things in her life. While we were tossing privacy concerns back and forth, she then came upon two links providing helpful information on how to obtain more granular control over your privacy at Facebook than is afforded with the rather limited number of default options available. http://nextsteph.com/stephblog/networking/social-networking/keep-your-personal-and-professional-life… [...]

  4. [...] and personal separate in social networking?” ). There is also practical information posted on how to keep your personal and professional life separate on Facebook and on professional profile personal privacy, among [...]

  5. Jennifer says:

    I’m trying to follow your instructions, but my facebook page doesn’t give me the options yours seems to. I created a friends list, but it isn’t showing up when I try to customize privacy . . . .

  6. Hello Jennifer,
    You have to customize privacy for each application, not separately.

  7. Preston says:

    I too created a friends list, but the “some friends” or “custom” is not showing up in options in the privacy settings.

    Any suggestions?

  8. Max says:

    Thank you. This is the best tutorial I’ve seen on managing Facebook relationships.
    I found just 3 lists to be adequate. Full, Limited, and Related.

  9. frances says:

    I have a question – how about controlling who sees your “Pages” – the ones you have become a fan of? I don’t see “Pages” as an application or as a section whose privacy I can change.

    Would be really nice to have control over this, too. (Really, really nice to have control over which, individual pages show up in your list, but that may be a bit TOO granular.)

  10. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this. Facebook is a powerful media tool but you have to separate your personal and professional contacts.

  11. [...] out this blog for some great tips on how to customize your Facebook [...]

  12. Mike P says:

    why not just use facebook for friends/family and keep everything set to private? As far as control is concerned, it doesn’t matter how much you restrict your access because your friend may have another friend who overlooks your profile while on the same computer and view the content. not to say that facebook isn’t a nice marketing tool but there’s no fool proof method to isolate your content if you decide to place it online. don’t assume also that your media automatically disappears either once deleted from the website. bottom line? be very selective what you publish.

  13. [...] privacy settings. If you don’t want to manage two accounts, use these tips to manage privacy to keep your personal and professional lives [...]

  14. netsurfer says:

    What good is these other privacy options when all your friend lists can still view your wall posts ? Facebook needs to secure up the content meaning all your posts, comments, etc.

    Having only friends and friends of friends is not going to cut it.

  15. Ken Smith says:

    Help! Based on bad advice, I have created 2 other pages originating from my personal account. One is a business and the other is an organization. How do I make them into separate accounts? I have a separate e-mail available for all 3. This is huge! Thanks so much, Ken

    • I would delete the business email addresses from the personal Facebook account. I would wait a day or two before opening a new account with the business account(s).
      As soon as you open the new accounts, become a fan or “like” your business pages from your new accounts.

      Login to your personal account and go to your pages and make the business account the admin. When you have admim control via your business admin, then it is safe to remove your personal account from it.

      Please let me know how this works out for you.

  16. [...] privacy settings. If you don’t want to manage two accounts, use these tips to manage privacy to keep your personal and professional lives [...]

  17. [...] privacy settings. If you don’t want to manage two accounts, use these tips to manage privacy to keep your personal and professional lives [...]

  18. [...] the business world is Facebook. To learn how to keep you professional and personal lives separate, click here. MCNY also has a fan page on Facebook. It is also located on the MCNY Social Networking [...]

  19. hollar says:

    how do i make my friends know that there on VIP friends list then how do i separate them? on facebook

    • I’m not sure what you are asking. You can tell your friends that they are on your list, but there is no online way to do so on Facebook. The lists are there for you view, not theirs. In the privacy setting you can choose what particular list members see on your Facebook profile.

  20. Monica says:

    Stephanie,

    I have always used Facebook for personal matters only. However, more and more, I find the need to use Facebook for business (I am lawyer – I have my own law firm). What do you recommend I do to have to separate worlds? Can I have both a personal account and a business acct? I am a bit confused on this issue.

    • Monica,

      I recommend creating a Facebook page for the firm. I also recommend using the “limited profile” list for clients, business and networking contacts. That way they can only see limited information. I hope this helps.