Finagling Facebook: Who should you friend?

March 2013

Our world is way too focused on social media for you to miss this important step of your personal “brand” – both during the job search and once you have been hired. As most people do when they meet a new friend – they are instantly added on Facebook. But is this appropriate for the workplace? What are the “rules” for adding your boss on Facebook?

Your boss probably doesn't want to be your Facebook friend (and neither does your client).  Your boss may be friendly at work and ask you about your weekend, but that doesn’t mean he wants to see all about it on Facebook. Just about 10% of all bosses have said they would be "very comfortable" “friending” their direct reports. Another 27 percent of bosses squirmed that they would only be "somewhat comfortable" to have that social network connection (similarly, 15 percent of the executives surveyed said they would be "very comfortable" with having their boss friend them, and 23 percent said they'd be "somewhat comfortable" with this).

If you are in the sales world – or B2B arena and pondering the thought of “friending” a client, we would advise you it is probably not wise. Only about one third of C-level executives or managers have no qualms about connecting on Facebook with clients. However – keep in mind if you are in the digital world then the bigger mistake could be not “friending” a client or colleague.

If you friend a colleague on Facebook, you should keep that in mind with every post and/or picture that goes up. Everything now needs to be focused on what is appropriate for your co-workers to see. And always ask for permission when tagging a co-worker in a picture, you don’t want them to suffer any Facebook faux pas on your account.