Once your Facebook account is open for long enough, you’ll find that your friends list is a mix of family, friends, acquaintances, and business / professional associates. With such a diverse mix of individuals, you may find yourself watching what you say for fear of alienating the wrong crowd. But fear not, there is an easy way to manage who sees the things you say online.
Short of spending all your free time managing multiple Facebook accounts, here are a few tips to make your Facebook-life a little more manageable.
Categorize Your Friends List
Take advantage of Facebook’s categorization features. It may be time consuming initially, depending on the size of your friends list, but setting up lists now will save you time and hassle later.
To set up your lists, go to Account at the top right of your Facebook home page, then Edit Friends, and then select All Connections on the left. Your friends list will appear. Select, and create, lists under the Add to List dropdown.
Lists are crucial to managing your Facebook account. This one step will give you more flexibility when it comes to your online persona. Once your lists are setup, categorize each new friend as you accept the request to avoid having to repeat this process.
Use Privacy Settings for Status Messages
Lists also allow you to manage what you say, and to which group of individuals. Have a fantastic business opportunity, but don’t want to bore your family with the details? Want to talk about your weekend without giving away details of your personal life to your professional associates? By setting the Privacy Settings on your Status Messages, you can accomplish both, and more.
When typing a Status Message, set the Privacy Setting by clicking on the padlock symbol located to the left of the share button. Here you’ll find the option to share your message with Everyone, Friends of Friends, Only Friends, or you can customize who you share your message with. The default is your Facebook default.
To share your Status Message with a particular group of people, select Customize, then select Specific People, and type the name of the list you wish to use. You may also use this feature to share your message with one particular person, instead of all of your friends.
Want to prevent only one group of people from seeing your Status Message? Under this same section, type in the name of the list, or individual person, to exclude from seeing your post under the Hide This From section.
Setup a Fan Page for Your Business
While you could use a list for customers, you’re better off setting a Fan Page for your Business. This allows your customers to connect with you, and gives them access to share information about you to their friends.
To add a page, click on Ads and Pages from the main navigation bar on your Facebook homepage, and then click on the Add a Page button.
Don’t see the Add a Page button? You’re most likely in the Ads Campaign area. Select Pages from the navigation menu, and then click on the Add a Page button.
Now that everything is setup and organized, set your Privacy Settings often. Practicing now will ensure you know how to set them when the need arises. If you setup a Fan Page for your business, return often to comment on your industry, your products, and anything else exciting that applies to your business.