PR Through The Eyes Of A Young Professional

To Accept or Not to Accept?

In Lessons Learned, Social Media, Young Professionals on July 27, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I think it’s safe to say, we live in a very social society – social networking that is.

No matter who you meet, whether it is at the grocery store or your kids little league game, everybody and their momma (literally – AARP reported seniors are one of the fastest growing users of social media) are networking,  online.

But social networking can be exhausting: friends, followers, connections, +’s, the list goes on; but as a professional how are you managing to keep everyone in their respective categories??

Facebook (in my option) has always been very clear about the intention of its platform. It is a place where “friends” – old and new – can connect. Twitter maybe the only place where being a “follower” is considered valuable currency. LinkedIn offers a professional atmosphere that encourages simply making a “connection” with someone for the sake of building your network base.

However as you begin to make connections outside of your intimate circle (friends and family), where do you feel most comfortable expressing yourself with people, that quite honestly you don’t know?

Personally I limit my friend requests and acceptance on Facebook to family, friends and close associates. And every now and then ,the occasional friend of a friend and boys I’ve met at the bar J. Twitter on the other hand, is an open forum. Come one come all (@Najjabeepr). But LinkedIn is another story. I am extremely scrupulous about who I connect with.

Traditionally my LinkedIn connections have been granted and accepted by those that I’ve met at a business function, done business with, or even share a common connection. I suppose I hold LinkedIn to a higher regard simply because its intended to be a place where professional and relevant expert conversations are held.

Pondering whether I was being too anal about the whole matter, I posed the exact same question to two other professionals:

As business owner I’m diligent about protecting some of my social network profiles because they are personal to me. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter are designated personal sites. While LinkedIn and now Google +, I share openly. I will accept people I’ve never met simply because it is where I share the public “me”. – Shannon S.

I am completely open on every social site that I’m on. I am the same person socially, as I am professionally. Stranger or acquaintance you get the same person and I am unapologetic. – Sara G.

Still confused? Here are some tips to help you manage your connections:

1) Remember that everything online is accessible. Be mindful, in any arena, of the content you publish.

2) Don’t feel compelled to accept any and everyone that sends you a request. Protect your neck.

3) Set social networking boundaries. This is one feature of Google Plus that makes it so attractive. The platform allows you to communicate with people based on the categories or circles you put them in. It is a feature that could work very well for managing your social networking portfolio in one location.

4) Be sure to treat your social network with respect. If twitter is your professional account provide your followers with relevant information that they can benefit from. Leave out the details about how you and your boyfriend just bought a new cat. #notinterested

5) Do it with class. While I’m not suggesting you sit down and start sorting through your Facebook “friends”, I would suggest from this moment forward you remain cognizant of your network, and where and how you choose to interact with them.

Enjoy these tips and share your own experience of how you manage your social network identity.



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