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  • When the Boss Invades Facebook

    Top 3 Things To Do When Your Boss Finds You in Facebook

    Don’t panic.  It’s just a little invite from your boss.  But seriously, what would you do if your boss were to find you in Facebook and sent a request to be your friend? Now, your boss will see your photos in the last party you’ve attended.   Don’t forget that awful rant slash shout-out you posted on your wall when the boss asked you to revise the Word document five times!  It seems like a tricky situation but there are actually three things that you could do when this happens.

    Make a decision!


    To add or not to add?  That is the question.  If you add your boss as your friend in Facebook, he/she will have access to most of your personal stuff: your rants and raves in the shout out box, photos, videos, and even messages from friends.  If you chose to reject his/her request, it could jeopardize your relationship with your boss.  You actually have two options to this dilemma: one, is to add him/her as a friend but limit their access to your profile. two, let your boss know that you’re not comfortable mixing your personal life with your professional life. Option two seems to be quite difficult to do based on my personality.  So I don’t think I will ever have the guts to tell my boss that.  But we have to admit that it solves the problem quite easily.  So at this point, the best route is option number one.  This can be pretty tedious on your part but you’ll soon find that it has some benefits, too.  Read on to find out. {I am not sure how this is suppose to read if this is suppose to be something you have written you are the boss so that last sentence does not make sense  your call}

    Do an audit and draw the line1483735132_e87969d5c4

    If you chose to add your boss as a friend in Facebook and you think that there are some portions that you didn’t want to share, then you have to do an audit.  What do you want him/her to see?  What are things you don’t want them to see?  Are you feeling like a member of the Board of Film Censors already? This is actually very easy and fun.  All you have to do is log on to Facebook, go to Settings, click on Privacy Settings, amend your limited profile list and specify your limited content.  And voila, you can now choose what he/she can or cannot see.  Based on experience, the most viewed portions of a Facebook profile are the Photos page and the Wall. You may experiment and limit as you please.  Another way of limiting people in having access to your profile is by creating a group with different levels of privacy settings.  By forming a group, you can share common things not only with your boss but also with the other people in your friends list.  These are just some of the ways to keep workplace connections in Facebook without letting them totally intrude your personal life.

    Always keep in mind that you don’t have to share everything with everyone.

    Use it wisely

    With the increasing popularity of social media networks, it’s already becoming a permanent part of the workplace.  However, there are some things that we can learn from this.  One of which is how we can use these social networking sites wisely.  Honestly, if I wanted to connect with my boss professionally, I’d rather add her in LinkedIn than in Facebook.  She doesn’t really need to know about my frequent trips to the beach or how much I hate the hideous gladiator boots in the mall.  I’d rather use Facebook for my personal relationships rather than professional.  But of course, if I were placed in the unavoidable situation, then I’ll try my best to get to know my boss and see how I can better work with her.  Based on what you know about your boss, how can I connect with her?  What kind of personality does she have and how can this help me work with her better.  Believe me, no employee wishes to have a hard time dealing with his or her boss.  Thanks to the internet, we now have a means to get to know our bosses.  But a word of caution, do not get too personal.  Remember that you are a professional and must remain professional.  Consider being too personal as your danger zone.  Focus on how you two can work professionally given the personal information you have access to.2053253464_0cfd6e7f35

    No matter which social network we’re on, we always have to remember that what we put up is actually a mirror of who we are.  We have to remember our personal brand and the people who see us (whether in person or via the internet).  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about putting up a fake show or being pretentious.  Think of it this way, wouldn’t it be nice if we could share parts of our lives with other people and at the same time we add value to theirs in a beneficial and tasteful way?  Instead, focus on your personal brand.

    • Are your photos and comments aligned with your personal brand?
    • Does it communicate the kind of person you are at work?
    • Also, by connecting with your boss via Facebook strengthen your relationship with him/her?
    • How can you add value to them through this channel?

    It’s nice to ponder on these questions before posting anything that’s for online public consumption because it will help you decide which posts are OK and not OK for workmates to see.

    Facebook and the other social networking websites are just one of the numerous ways to build relationships.  However, we need to be wise in using them because these sites can be good or bad depending on how we use it.  I chose to use it to my advantage.  I hope you’re making the same choice, too.


    Maria Elena Duron is chief buzz agent, coach and speaker with buzz2bucks.com. Buzz2Bucks | a word of mouth firm serves as  the community manager around your personal or business brand online and offline, and coaches community managers on how to be buzz-worthy. Buzz2Bucks is known for the talk that yields profits.  She is author of the book “Mouth to Mouth Marketing” and the ebook “Social I.R.A.”  Duron contributes to several publications including the Personal Branding Mag and QuestionPro and is the editor of the Personal Branding Blog. She broadcasts weekly as the business coach with CBS7.


    Maria Elena Duron is a Marketing Coach and Strategist with Know, Like, + Ignite and @mariaduron on Twitter. Would you like practical tips to create and curate content and experiences worthy of being passed person-to-person? -Get exclusive access.

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    15 comments on “When the Boss Invades Facebook
    1. avatar

      Mashable blog’s using Facebook for professional networking had a suggestion to go with your ideas; create a professional friends list. http://bit.ly/JORbx. I like your point that no matter what you do, be wise.

    2. avatar

      Self-editing – seems like that’s what it’s finally about. It’s unwise to post material that you’d only say aloud or show to really close friends and family.

    3. avatar
      Bret Simmons says:

      People need to treat Facebook like a coffee shop, not a living room. While you can and should be personal online, the idea that you have privacy is a delusion. And Facebook sets up a lie that we all buy into – that this is about “friends”. You should never post anything online that you would not be comfortable with anyone seeing anytime. If for whatever reason you deny someone you actually know access to your Facebook, you are not radically transparent and you are missing out on the full force of the potential of social media. Don’t put yourself in the Facebook box and thereby set yourself up for potential conflict that is completely avoidable.

    4. avatar
      Ching Ya says:

      I’m glad you have a ‘use it wisely’ session in this post, as I believe to keep our boss(es) out from social media sites are getting impossible. ^^ I guess we just have to go with the flow and be a smarter communicator. Great advises given, very handy. Might we all think twice before we post our next updates, well, in case your boss is watching.

    5. avatar

      What do you think of having two Facebook accounts, one for professional associates and one for close friends?

      • avatar


        It doesn’t work … I tried it.

        Instead, use LinkedIn for professional networking and Facebook for both.

        Don’t create more than one social media profiles if you cant maintain them.


    6. avatar

      I don’t have any problem for adding my boss on Facebook. I use all my social networking sites professionally … its not a big deal if my boss knew I went to the beach on holiday.

      I’d rather keep my personal/experience information limited and not share any negative comment on my boss/company whether now or after quit the job.

      My authentic personal brand will not change with years and employment.

    7. avatar
      yinka olaito says:

      I think Facebook and others can be used for both purposes: professional and family, It all depends on ability to project a psoitive image and not to be careless to put any form of picture that can damage personal rating.

    8. avatar

      Hello Doug!
      Thanks so much for the Mashable reference! Read the article and has some solid info!

    9. avatar

      Paul, and Ching,
      I agree completely! Self editing and using this social tool wisely is important for anyone whether they’re using Facebook personally, professionally or both. You never know who is seeing your info or who they are, who they will become or who they influence.

    10. avatar

      I do agree with you that it is delusional to think there is privacy…once something is online, it’s online. Yet, I do believe that you need to treat this “huge coffee shop” with behavior that is “on brand” for you regardless if that coffee shop is in person or virtual. If your personal brand is to be connective, giving freely of information, “never meeting a stranger”, than your online behavior needs to reflect your authentic brand. However, if you are a private person, slower to make friends and include people in your personal fold, more reserved -then your online brand needs to mirror your authentic personal brand. It’s a mistake for people to think that just because social networks are so social that they must “be more outgoing than they really are” or “share all with the world”…it’s simply not so. This new communication tool is ever evolving and now has tools in place that not only limit ‘who can see what’ it also helps us customize it in a way that reflects who we are and how we interact. It’s important for all of us to take the time to see what changes are occurring in each of our networks and what specialized tools are becoming available. Three years ago none of us were chatting about Facebook and Twitter and now it’s so main stream that we’re seeing a proliferation of settings that fit us better than “early Facebook and Twitter” ever did. Discernment about anything we post online is important, again – I am agreeing with you. I only ask that each of us make sure that our online brand matches our offline brand.

      • avatar
        Bret Simmons says:

        The question in FACEbook should be “do you recognize this person”, not is this person your friend. Friend is an emotion laden term. If you tell me we are not friends, I will have a gut level emotional reaction and you better be prepared for that. To tell me you don’t recognize either my name or face is entirely different. The issue is not one of being outgoing vs. introverted. The issue is one of full awareness of what is really taking place out there and understanding how your actions affect others. Thanks. Bret

      • avatar

        Hello Bret! The question of “do you recognize the person” might be the question in your mind but it is not the question on my mind. And, I don’t want to presume that’s the question either for anyone else on Facebook. My usage of Facebook will differ from yours – can we agree to disagree? The term “friend” on social networking doesn’t provide the same kind of emotion as “friend” use to have as we see that definition broadening. Yet, it’s quite alright for someone to craft a connection and communication strategy using Facebook for personal contacts and also for professional contacts. Facebook is not the same for everyone as evidenced by the ability to put some boundaries as to what one want a friend of a friend to see or personal networks or extended networks. Are those boundaries foolproof? Nothing really is and this statement is true for “offline” or face-to-face connections, too. I don’t discount the fact that anyone involved with anything online needs to be fully aware of their actions – hence the statement I used about doing things “wisely” – with full thought. Yet, to best use Facebook there are some things that can be done to make the most common of connections good ones that reflect your personality and style. Anyone else who wants to find out more about you via web or even through offline methods will depending only on how tenacious they are.

    11. avatar

      Hello Joseph:
      Actually, two accounts is a good idea yet let me clarify. I believe you need ONE account that is you with some connections personally and professionally. Than have one business/professional account (in Facebook terms – a fan page). A fan page is not limited to “businesses only”. There is even a template for politicians, individually. So, you, as a professional individual can have a fan page that is accessible to everyone and anyone and you do not have to approve who is a fan and who isn’t. There are some companies now that require their team to be on Facebook and creating a professional business person page (fan page) would help you do that while still staying as private as you would like. For those personal brands that are more private, it gives people a chance to get to know you (and you get to know them) and make choices of who will move into a more personal “friend” world. For example, I speak to large groups and after a workshop, I’ll have dozens who will want to “friend” me on Facebook. Other than standing in front of them at a workshop, I really don’t know them. The fan page gives us a chance to have a more private conversation without entering into a complete friendship – just yet. Isn’t that happens in face to face interaction anyway?

    12. avatar

      Mohammed and Yink:
      I agree with what both of you are saying. Yet, I also agree that just because it’s online doesn’t mean we can’t behave with the same authentic and transparent behavior that IS our personal brand. Customization of all social tools is evolving and giving us the opportunity to be who we are – online and offline.

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