People in the astrology world just seem to friend each other left and right on Facebook, if only because, well, they believe in astrology. As if that is enough to justify a “friendship.” This is all well and good – for who else is going to care about your “Transiting Mars just quincunxed my Vertex!” status update? However, there are a lot of crazies out there. And leeches. And Jove knows who else.
As business owners, we want to attract clients. Yet as participants in the world of social media, we also just want to hang out with our friends and not have to deal with (a) stalkers; (b) folks who just want free readings; (c) fans who are just a little too “big fan” for our tastes [see (a)].
So how do you set some boundaries on Facebook without feeling like you’re losing potential business? One solution that only creates more work is to create two separate Facebook profiles – one for your personal life and one as a professional astrologer. The problem with this strategy is the headache involved in having to sign into two different accounts. This is a little easier if you reserve, say, Firefox for “Facebook Friends and Family” and Safari or Chrome for “Facebook Astrology Business.”But there is a better way – a solution in which you only need one Facebook account, while still being able to set some parameters: the Fan page. All you have to do is set it up and you’re good to go. (I’ll blog about Fan page tips at a later date.)
If someone friends you and you don’t know who they are, it’s possible they’re a fan of your blog. One way to check is to view their profile and search for key words like “astrology”; look at their tabs for horoscope widgets; or check out their pages to see if they’ve “fanned” other astrology pages. (Or you could just message them and ask how they know you.) If they have friends in common with you and they’re all people in your astrology network, then at least they’re a known quantity, but there’s no guarantee they’re not a stalker or a leech. It’s up to you to use your judgment. If you don’t want to be their friend, politely message them and say, “I keep my personal network small, just for friends and family. However, I invite you to become a fan of my page, where I will post status updates and links related to astrology, and I’d be happy to interact with you there.” That way, you can feel comfortable sharing your personal life with only those people whom you generally consider buddies.
How timely! I just did this myself. I had to “Cull” my friends on Facebook because It was getting too much. On Tuesday my status read:”I have decided to keep my profile page for only friends, family and a few select Astrologers that I have befriended. Please do not be offended if I have deleted you. I still have the Funkastrology Fanpage and we can interact there. I just prefer to keep business separate from personal”
I might’ve been more likely to have kept them if. 1) you could check out the profile of those who request your friendship 1st and 2) If you could restrict access to some photos and email/contact details.
Excellent advice best taken when you are first setting up your presence on FB. Another plus is that fan pages are indexed by Google.
Hi, Jeffrey. Thanks for this timely advice. I’m taking a class at Brown University called “Social Networking and Online Community Building”. On this coming Monday night we’re going to be setting up a Fan Page for our businesses.
I’m so glad I found your blog (or you found me, I can’t remember which.) As an astro-blogger I feel your support directly in my work.
For our final project we have to submit three references: my project is about the impact of social media use on the number of readers for my blog. We need to use three references in our final project. I’m submitting your blog as one of my references. Thanks, ref.
@Ellen – I’m glad I’ve been of help!
@Marina – I was actually inspired to write this blog post after I read your status update!
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