I've been considering writing this post for a while now, running sentences and ideas over in my head. Because I think it's important that you read this and you understand *why* it's important.
Facebook has become a huge way for people to communicate. I get an inordinate amount of work related email through my personal page on Facebook. And yes, I share 'personal' things on Facebook. Pictures of my family, my dog, my beloved Green Bay Packers and my friends proliferate my page. And yes, I do 'cross the line' with some political posts at times. I am pro gay marriage and fairly liberal, don't care for Sarah Palin and love the Detroit Tigers. Lately, I've been posting videos of hymns sung by my daughter's gospel choir. And I know that I run a risk of potentially upsetting people who are anti gay, Bears fans, Palin lovers and very conservative. And I have made the conscious decision to allow 'professional colleagues' to be my Facebook friends. I gave that decision a great deal of thought as I know people might decide not to work with me or read my blog posts based upon my political opinions.
If you disagree with my politics and beliefs, as many of my closest friends do, that's okay with me. And you can post all of that stuff that you want. But I am going to warn you here and now, if you choose to make industry colleagues your Facebook friends and you 'sell' to our industry, you run the risk of losing business.
I've seen vendors who've taken the "all industry approach" to their Facebook friend selection. And then they post whatever they want, which is their absolute right. But here are some things I've seen that might make you say, "Hmmmm..." when considering hiring that person/their company for a job:
1. Drunk photos of themselves.
2. Sex toys they use/recently used along with descriptions of their night of sex.
3. Derogatory remarks about people's weight, height, ethnicity, religious preference, sexual preference, familial status gender (do any of these sound familiar?) and more.
4. Lots and lots of deep, deep cleavage with the occasional near 'nip slip'.
5. Posts about how inept their employer is.
As I said, it really is your right to post whatever you feel is appropriate. But if you go this route, choose your friends carefully. You may even consider, as many people have, to create two Facebook pages. One for the 'professional you' and another for the 'personal you'. Or you can limit who sees what you post.
Lastly, this is not just my opinion. I've been in meeting with clients where vendors have not made the shortlist as a result of questionable Facebook posts made by their sales reps (that have been seen by the decision maker).
Disagree? Let me know. Agree? Share your thoughts. Have you decided *not* to work with someone based upon their Facebook posts?