Can you help with my Facebook dilemma?

Dilemma: I feel as if I need to change my Facebook (FB) strategy. I currently use it to hang out with family, friends, and fellow writers.

I’m sitting on two FB friend requests from people who feel like friends, but they are also in my business. 

Another source of pressure: I need to become a “fan” of client/referral source Facebook Fan Pages, so I can learn more about them. Once I do this, I will face more FB friend requests from people who are not family, friends, or writers. 

Which of the following four options should I pick?

1. Continue to accept friend requests only from people in my target categories. 

PRO: This preserves my relative privacy, though I should keep in mind that boundaries may still be breached. 

CON: Others may feel offended. Plus, I miss opportunities to deepen relationships with them.

2. Set up a second FB profile for Susan Weiner, CFA, which I’ll use for business relationships.  

PRO: There’s less risk of inappropriate information reaching my business contacts. 

CON: It becomes one more social media profile to maintain. Content will overlap with my non-business profile.

3. Set up a FB Fan Page for and try to direct business connections there, while keeping my FB page “personal.”  

PRO: A fan page is more flexible than a profile for my business. 

CON: Fan page doesn’t solve the problem of having a profile that I can use to “fan” business contacts’ fan pages.

4. Accept friend requests from everyone, but control who can see what. 

PRO: This option involves the least extra work. 

CON: I’m bound to slip up on categorizing my updates, thus letting clients in on my squirrelmania, etc. Family or friends may make edgy comments on some of my posts.

What do YOU suggest? It would be great to get comments from you.

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Copyright 2010 by Susan B. Weiner All rights reserved

11 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    I feel like I'm nearly alone on this, but I wouldn't consider any option other than 2.

  2. lori johnson
    lori johnson says:

    I share your same dilemma Susan!


    1. If you set up a Fan Page for my clients, can my Fans also see my personal page?

    2. What about those clients who are already on my personal page?

    Very interested in the responses! Please keep me in the loop.


  3. Doug Cornelius
    Doug Cornelius says:

    Susan –

    Keeping your personal and professional lives separate is never easy. There will be people that fall into both buckets.

    If you friend purely business contacts then you will need to keep Facebook much more professional (and probably more boring) than if it were more limited.

    For me, I publish pictures of my kids on Facebook. That means to be a Facebook friend you need to be somebody that I have invited into my house or would invite into my house when my kids are around.

    Setting up a second Facebook profile will be more of hassle and leave you more likely to inadvertently publish into the wrong profile.

    Regardless, you should set up a Facebook Page for Investment Writing.

  4. Joanne Mason
    Joanne Mason says:

    I'd be inclined to choose Option 2 also. But I'm very curious to see what others have to say. I'm just in the early stages of figuring out how to use Facebook for business.

  5. Angela
    Angela says:

    I ponder these questions too Susan. Right now I use facebook mainly for personal use but like you have friended a few writer contacts and a couple of clients. In that way I found out an editor whom I work for occasionally shares my guilty pleasure of watching Teen Mom. :} That may have deepened our connection, but maybe not in the right way.

    At first blush I'd choose option 3 or 4, but don't have good fixes for the drawbacks. Let us know what you decide to do.

  6. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:

    Thanks everybody for your comments!

    The one thing that seems clear is that it may be useful to set up a Facebook fan page. My opinion about the other topics depends on what FB arguments I've heard most recently. In other words, my opinion swings back and forth.

  7. SantaFeKate
    SantaFeKate says:

    My brother and my son both have fan pages for their businesses (ecopolitology and The Ghost Army) and keep their stuff pretty separate. They don't post as often on the fan pages–which makes it easier to remember what you're doing. Also, most people I know who have blogs and fan pages post a link to every blog post on their fan page.

  8. Russell
    Russell says:


    Personally I have taken option 4 with my account. It does take some extra work, but really all you would need to do is setup 1 group for business contacts, add all requests to it, and then seat your status updatea to friends only except business. I find Twitter best for meeting new people (like you) and FB best for deepening existing relstionships, even with this I haven't actually met.

    Although you say there's a risk of inappropriate info reaching business contacts, I actually see it the other way. Mixing some personal info into a business relationship often helps.

  9. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:


    Your point about "Mixing some personal info into a business relationship often helps" is what intrigues me about #4. I've seen how my relationships with some of my writer-colleagues have deepened through FB.

  10. Evacuee
    Evacuee says:

    Susan, I didn't see an option for just "accept everybody onto my one profile". IMHO, the entire point of social media is to be social. It's to let people have a window into our personal lives. This creates the deeper connection with clients that we are seeking that can be facilitated by SM.

    I think you're also overlooking a downside of #2, in that what happens if people send you a friend request to your "personal" profile, but you want to have them on your business one? Telling them, you're my friend but not enough to be on my real facebook page. Just on my business one. Let me send you a friend request from the one that you should have chosen.

    Just my thoughts on a Monday morning.

  11. Susan Weiner, CFA
    Susan Weiner, CFA says:


    I see the appeal of your approach. It's the approach I'd really like to take, but I worry about wall posts or comments by others that might inadvertently offend. Have you dealt with this on your Facebook page?

Comments are closed.