So many of my Facebook friends are blogger friends. But my LinkedIn contacts are more of my business relationships with links to my friends as well. And many of my personal friends are bewildered by my obsession with marketing and branding. But some of the business professionals I’ve never even met face to face have become personal friends. How can that be?
I find that the line between friends and professional acquaintences continually morphs.
I used to try to keep it in smooth concentric circles — or silos — if you will:
- My closest, dearest friends. Sisters. Relatives.
- My trusted work relationships. Mentors. Comrades.
- My friendly acquaintances.
- My strategic alliances. Team.
- My “mommy” circles. Other soccer moms, scouting moms — until my kids got too old for needing mom around all the time.
- Skiing friends. Blogging friends. Coffee girlfiends. Holiday friends. Church friends.
- Friends of my husband. Spouses of his friends. People I come in contact with everyday.
I found it challenging when I left the “corporate” life to start my own marketing consulting company.
But it really got tough when social media came along and invited everyone to the same party. Google+ circles is an attempt to separate everyone again. And I noticed that a minute ago, when I sent a friend invitation to someone, they wanted me to categorize them again.
I count people whose blog I read everyday as a “friend”. How weird is that? We’ve developed a relationship over the years, even though we’re not even close to the same zip code or even state.
I think social media is called social for a reason. But as any business person knows, leveraging social relationships for business is nothing new. How many of us have heard: it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.
Meanwhile the FTC insistes on full disclosure for bloggers. And I am pretty sure that extends to all the social media as well. But how far do you take it? Does liking a page of one of your clients from your personal Facebook profile require full disclosure? Or friend a client’s personal Facebook page?
I’m curious how other marketing professionals handle this.
I know I’m not the ONLY marketing person who struggles with how to balance work and personal life on line? My post about Remember… It’s not BUSINESS media, it’s Social Media is one of my most read articles.
Please leave me a comment with how you deal with this issue. Or is it a NON-ISSUE for you>?