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.