Facebook: Control what you Share with Different Groups

One of the questions people asked a lot about during my seminar last Thursday involved whether to be friends with clients on Facebook.  Generally, my view is it is best to send your clients to your Facebook Page (your professional presence on Facebook) as opposed to being friends with them. That said, if you want to be able to friend your clients, you best bet is to take advantage of Facebook’s friend lists.

Friend lists on Facebook enable you to create targeted privacy settings, control what you share with various people (for example your clients versus your relatives) and control what you and other see on your Facebook Wall.

Creating a List

For directions from Facebook itself, take a look at the Facebook Faq on the subject.

I’ll take you through the basics right here.

  1. Access your Friends and Create a List
    1. Account
    2. Edit Friends
    3. Create Lists

Once you click on  Edit Friends a box will pop up containing all of your Friends.  This is where you will see the +Create a List option.  If you have a lot of friend, once you click +Create a List it will take a while to populate so don’t worry if your computer freezes up for a moment.

Simply choose the Friends you want to add to the list (you can search for the Friends or scroll through and click on the appropriate Friend.)

Setting List Privacy

Once you create a List, you can control the privacy settings, i.e. what members of each List will be able to see or do.

For general information on privacy on Facebook check out my previous Blog post on the subject.

To set privacy settings for a particular list, this is what you need to do.

  1. Click on Account
  2. Click on Privacy
  3. Click on Customize Settings

Once you click on Customize Settings you will see a variety of options for the different types of information available on Facebook.  You will want to Customize each of these to be shared at the appropriate level with the appropriate list.

To set your privacy for specific lists you will:

  1. Choose the area you wish to set
  2. Select Specific People
  3. Enter the name of the List with which you wish to share the information

In this case, I am only allowing a List I called “Family” to see this type of information.

Ways to Use Lists

In addition to using Lists to control who can see what, you can use Lists to communicate with particular individuals.  For example, if you are having a new office opening and wish to let your clients know, you could send a message only to people on a List you call Clients.

A very useful tool.

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