The Worlds of Friending, Following, and +1

The Worlds of Friending, Following, and +1

Julienne Lin
Jan 9, 2012

Working in public relations means I'm constantly meeting people both online and at events and later connecting with them through different social networks. Currently the daily platforms I use are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ (not to name a bunch of other platforms I love like Pinterest, Svpply, Etsy and Instagram). It can be overwhelming when you're deciding whom to send to which of your social networks when you meet someone new. Here's how to look at it on a larger scale to help decide.

Obviously there are social networks that will cross paths with one another. I am connected to my sister through all the social networks I've listed below because we share similar personal and professional interests. There are basic tendencies such as keeping personal relationships on Facebook and professional ones on LinkedIn that I use as a starting point. Here are some simple factors we keep in minding when filtering new and old relationships.

Twitter: Twitter is one of those pleasant platforms where you can really follow and be followed by anyone — close friends, professional contacts, your favorite restaurants and even celebrities. This is why using Lists on Twitter becomes handy, because I have different sets of accounts that I follow and it's easier to keep track of them that way.

Connect with: professional relationships, people you admire, and friends who share professional and personal interests

Facebook: Since Facebook started out as purely a social network, I like to keep it that way just because the base of the people I'm connected to on Facebook are friends from high school and college. It's also safer in case you have old photos you've forgotten about or posts that are appropriate for friends but not coworkers. Facebook changes its privacy settings and structure so much that it's hard to stay on top of the settings for who sees what.

Connect with: friends, friends of friends and people you meet at social outings

LinkedIn: If you are new to the industry and don't have a lot of connections on LinkedIn yet, it's okay to start with adding your friends. However, as you start working and meeting new people, it's beneficial to use LinkedIn as a professional networking tool. As a writer and someone in public relations, I use it to connect with other writers I work with, coworkers — and to follow companies I admire.

Connect with: coworkers, anyone you work with and companies you'd like to work for

Google+: Google+ is still in its beginnings. When it was first released, people were attracted to how you can categorize your contacts with circles, making it appropriate to add anyone from an acquaintance to a family member to a coworker on the network without worrying about the wrong people seeing certain posts. Although many have accounts, usage of Google+ still has room to gain popularity. We're still waiting to see how it pans out. It definitely has the advantage of good search results, after all, it is a Google product.

Connect with: anyone you want, just make sure you put them in the right circle

How do you organize your relationships on social networks?

(Images: 1. EncorePrints, available on Etsy, 2. armatodesign, available on Etsy, 3. screenshot/Julienne Lin)

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