This question seems to come up often at social media seminars that I conduct at various expos and organizations.
There is no simple answer to this question. It really just comes down to personal choice. Are you comfortable with your business contacts knowing much more about you personally? If you are, then there is no reason to keep them separate – just add them to your personal profile.
If, however, you do want to keep personal things, like family photos, separate, then by all means you should have multiple profiles. Before you create a complete separate profile, you need to ask yourself, are you sure that you want a profile, or should you have a business page? The only reason, I believe, that you would want a separate profile for work is if you are an employee of a business and you don’t have administrative access to the existing Facebook page for your company.
If you do have access to the Facebook page or you have the authority to create one, then you should create a page for the overall brand.
…For the most part (there is an exception to every rule), your Facebook page should be about the brand and not about an individual person.
If you are going to create a company page, you definitely want to read more tips on that here.
If you are creating a second profile, here are a few things that you need to consider…
- The first step is to make your personal profile private (see the Facebook privacy settings to do this) [link to it]. This will limit your business contacts access so that they won’t see all your personal posts. You need to be sure that the settings are set up properly and you should test these from time to time as Facebook has been known to have bugs!
- If a business contact sends you a friend request, send them a polite message back explaining that you have both a personal and business profile and provide a link to the business profile so that they can friend you there.
- Another option would be instead of replying, simply log into your business profile and send them a friend request with, then follow that up with a message regarding how this is your business profile and you would like to connect.
- Both responses require more work, but that is the con to having multiple profiles. However, if you take the time, it will come across as professional, and that should be respected by the other business contacts. As your business profile grows with friends, it will be more likely the one that becomes the default connection request due to common friends and you won’t have to do the responses as much.