Colleagues, Vendors, and Clients: To friend or not to friend? That is the question.
What is the protocol for interacting with professional contacts on social media networks? I began my research on this topic by enlisting my fellow Red Sagers. I asked them all what their take was on engaging with professional contacts. Do you friend or not?
First and foremost, check to see if your company has a social media policy before you go start sending out requests to everybody in the company. This may answer all of your etiquette questions before you even ask.
For the most part, Red Sagers are pretty private. Shocking, I know! However, most of us prefer to keep our personal beliefs and opinions to ourselves. That being said, we feel that should you choose to add professional contacts to your social media platforms, you should probably do the same. Dragon Lady, for instance, has no problem with her facebook being public. However, she chooses not to post anything controversial (aka – religion or politics) There are others in the office that choose not to incorporate any professional contacts into their personal social media channels. Then there are those that feel that Linked In is the only appropriate outlet for professional networking. If you do choose to add professional contacts to your personal social media outlets, I suggest that you utilize your privacy settings when posting anything emotional or controversial. You can categorize groups on some social media platforms such as Facebook and Google +. However, on others you may simply need to be more prudent in your content.
As for sending friend and follow requests, this is my suggestion, check out your target’s current circle of friends. Do they include colleagues, vendors, and/ or clients? If so, then send away. If not, then you should probably hold off.
This is a very general overview of my thoughts on social media engagement amongst your working peers. I hope that you have found it beneficial.