Navigating Facebook’s Labyrinth of Privacy Options

Many of our clients find it difficult to embrace Facebook for their marketing, and even more difficult to let their employees use the service during work hours. We have heard them say that Facebook has become too complicated and that it presents too many security risks.

If you are not a regular Facebook user, but your company is using Facebook to communicate with clients and prospects, we suggest that you pass this on to your social media marketing manager. And if you are the person in charge of Facebook marketing at your company, then you may want to tuck away . And as you can see, Facebook’s Privacy settings have become very complicated. But this guide from The Wall Street Journal should help make sure that you get your settings adjusted just as you want them – at least until Facebook changes all its settings again!

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage Facebook for your business, feel free to drop us a line.

Guide to Facebook's Privacy Options

Using Social Media for Networking…

Pete Wiltjer answers a Q during the Professional Skills Workshop at Northwestern University

Last week, a former client and I spoke at the Professional Skills Workshop for members of the Society for Neuroscience @ Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management on using social media for networking and personal branding.

Our audience included neuroscience students and faculty from across the U.S., and we learned as much as we taught. It was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

My co-presenter, Richard Sharp, came up with the idea of incorporating the game “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon” as a way to communicate the power of social networking today, which was brilliant.

If you are interested in seeing the slides, here is a link to the presentation:

Stragglers Take Note: Facebook’s Massive Growth in 55+ Age Group

The growth of Facebook over the past year has been remarkable. iStrategyLabs’ recent report on growth over the past six months, between January and July, is even more amazing for the trends that have been revealed. Take a look at the table below, featuring the iStrategylabs data.

Baby boomers have joined FaceBook at an astounding rate over the past 6 months
Baby boomers have joined FaceBook at an astounding rate over the past 6 months

What this means for many BtoB companies is that they need to think about Facebook as a marketing and communications medium. And while many consumer businesses have embraced Facebook, I have unscientifically polled peers regularly over the past few months to get their impression of Facebook as a platform for marketing. My finger-in-the-air test of which way the wind is blowing on this matter has shown me that many in the BtoB world are reluctant to consider Facebook as a legitimate platform for communicating with prospects or customers. The main exception has been the human resources department.

Since Facebook was born in 2004, HR managers have enjoyed being able to get a true look at hungry job candidates, to see what they are really like when they leave the office. Incriminating photos, videos and comments posted in Facebook have prevented many “promising” candidates from landing the jobs they wanted.

Yet many business owners I talk with have quickly called it a giant waste of time and tell me that LinkedIn is the only social media platform they will consider using for business. But with nearly six million new Facebook users since January that are 55 and over, and more than 20 million new users since January that are between ages 35-54, Facebook can only be ignored at your own peril.

As I mentioned in the Entrepreneur.com series about PWMG that followed us as we rebranded the company, I have had meaningful discussions with prospects through the Facebook ‘Chat’ function. In addition, we have a fan page for our company on Facebook, and we see a lot of traffic coming to our blog and website from employees’ various Facebook pages.

Obviously this means I can’t take part in all the fun-and-games that many enjoy on Facebook (endless boring polls, poke poke, virtual food fights, mafia wars, etc.). Too bad for me. But not really.

The 35 and up crowd may have been late to the Facebook party, but these older users are also changing the way this social media platform is and will be used going forward. How has your social media strategy changed in 2009? Drop us a line and let us know. We would be glad to share some ideas.