The Nitty Gritty – Parsing Out Facebook

As B2B businesses slowly move onto the various social media platforms, including Facebook, the need for some extra FB privacy settings may have come along as we begin administering pages on behalf of clients (and have the employees of clients interact with their own brand pages).

While you can certainly setup two accounts it can become burdensome to deal with the overlap, friends who are unsure which account is the “professional” one and which is the “personal” one, and making sure both are engaging.  Thankfully there’s a simple way around this – use Facebook’s built in Friends list feature.

The first step in setting up your lists is deciding if your lists will be inclusive, exclusive or both.  That is – are you building lists to make sure an update (or album, information, etc.) is visible to certain individuals and groups, will not be visible to certain people, or some combination of the two.

For example, if most of your updates or connections are not work related you may want to build a list of professional colleagues to exclude them from updates about school bake sales.  Alternatively, you could also build a list that only includes members of the PTA and your relatives to include only them in the personal updates.

How you divvy up your list will be based primarily on a) What you’ll be posting and b) What the sub-groups of friends look like (and how large they are).

To setup your lists:

1) Login to Facebook.

2) Go to Account → Edit Friends in the upper right hand corner

3) Click on Create a List

4) Type in a list name and begin selecting individuals to put on the list.

5) Click Create List when you’re done.

6) Mission accomplished, your list is now created.

To make a status update that’s visible only to (or invisible to) a specific list:

1) Click on the padlock in the status update window and click customize.

2) Decide who (individuals), or which lists, you’d like to include or exclude and enter in that information in the appropriate fields.  For the “Make this visible to” field, select “Specific people” and enter in the list name and click on it.  For the “Hide this from” list you can just enter the list name and click on it.

3) If this is going to be your most frequent setting, tick the “Make this my default setting” checkbox and click “Save Setting.”

4) Finish sending your update.  You can hover over the padlock to preview the current settings for any update you’ve created.

The same method applies to any of Facebook’s information settings as well as photo albums (even ones already created, just click on “Edit Album Info” in the Photo view