Social Media Marketing

Andrea Bertone (UK) - Facing the Facebook Dilemma

There's a common dilemma in the workplace. You can hear the quiet panic in voices in every office around the world when someone we work with has just tried to add us on Facebook. We've all faced it and it fills us with fear. What message does it give if we don't accept? But what will happen if we do and that colleague sees something, or worse, what happens if they and one of your old friends comment on the same thing? We've all got a friend that we wouldn't bring to the office with us, but having them interacting with a colleague on Facebook is often still too close for comfort.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this is networking. It's one thing that can really help you to get a leg up in a career. Take a new graduate for example: you don't have a career yet, so you don't have professional contacts or a network, but you do have friends - they will get jobs, they can tell you what it's like, how they got theirs, where they went, who they are now connected to, where they work, who they used to work with. My point is that every network can start somewhere, it builds organically with time and with the contacts you make and with the contacts that those people make in turn.
But that networking has a price: many employers will check out a candidate's social networks, either from curiosity, to see if someone is active online if that's important to the job, or just to see if the person is a suitable ‘fit'. A drunken photograph or inappropriate comment from a friend on your profile can sometimes give the wrong impression.

There's a fine line to walk between being friends with colleagues and contacts and yet still remaining professional in the workplace. You don't want everyone to know everything about you as we all have a professional persona that we have to put on at times.
We recently conducted some independent research which reveals that over two-thirds (67%) of workers in Europe are concerned about mixing friends and professional contacts on social networks. It's not surprising as problems often result from work colleagues seeing what's on their social network page. As many as one in three (35%) have, or know someone that has, come up against this. The biggest issue for these people was a work colleague who wants to join your personal social network, but whom you don't want mixing with your social circle. Other common issues, affecting one in three, include a friend posting a comment (38%) or photo (37%) they wouldn't want an employer to see.

As a job seeker, or as someone focused on career development, you can tap millions of people on Facebook - more than any other social network - identifying and connecting in new ways to help you find the next step in your career. But if you live your life online, then there's an awful lot for colleagues and current or potential recruiters to see. This is the reasoning behind the launch of BeKnown - it is a way to be active online, network with others, and keep it separate from the profile your friends see, all from within Facebook. It gives greater control of the way you run your professional and social lives online. So you can keep your colleagues close, but your friends closer.

Andrea Bertone is CEO of Europe, Monster



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