How intimate should your posts be on social networking sites?



Social networking has quickly become the newest hot topic in the marketing arena. Social networking sites have become so popular that new words like “friending” have formed since the explosion of Myspace, Facebook and Twitter 5 years ago. Facebook now has well over 350 million users and Twitter has roughly 5 million users (Data for twitter was estimated based on user id numbers assigned since Twitter has not made this information public.) I will have to admit that I am now, also, a Facebook user. After 5 years of resisting the movement, I jumped on the bandwagon because of the implications on my business. Social network marketing is a craze that has begun to spread on the internet. Fan pages have been developed on Facebook for businesses and soon businesses will be able to create regular Facebook accounts. (Facebook has posted this on their web site for the last 3 months.)

I resisted the movement for a long time because I do not like people knowing much about my private life. However, after researching the benefits of Facebook and the privacy restrictions that were default to all Facebook accounts, I decided to create an account for myself and my business. It allows me to post my thoughts, my comments, and business activity for the benefit of my “friends” in the Facebook world. My posts and profile information are only visible to my friends so I can choose what I share with friends and what I share with the rest of the Facebook community. But this has all changed recently, Facebook has changed the default settings for user accounts. Items that were once private are now set to be public. This means that your information, pictures and comments are now public. Of course, these settings can be changed by the user at any time. In fact, Facebook has given its users more control on the privacy of all of your information on Facebook. As a user, you now can control if your friends, friends of friends, or public see your comments, pictures, or profile information.

Social networking has become the latest and greatest item on the internet. Businesses can use these sites as a marketing tool. Individuals can use the site to reconnect with people that they lost touch with. All of this is wonderful and fun, but be aware of the privacy control of those sites and your user account settings. Comments, pictures and profile information that you would not want your current employer, future employer, or business contacts to see should not be posted onto your account if your default privacy setting is public.

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