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Mailbag: 2 Reasons Your Clients Should Avoid Facebook

The marketing drumbeat in favor of getting businesses onto Facebook and other social media has been pretty heavy (from, as well, here, here and here), although there are some signs of backlash, such as the recent Fortune magazine article "Facebook: Where marketing efforts go to die?" and RCPU Editor Lee Pender's blog entry, "5 Reasons Why I Hate Twitter."

In a column for the February issue, I wrote about the struggle to balance personal and professional contacts in Facebook. Jeff V. Pulver, an IT consultant with Intercomp Design Inc. in New Jersey, e-mailed a thoughtful response about why he doesn't recommend Facebook to his clients.

Here's what Jeff had to say:

"I am advising my clients to not use Facebook in their business. This is because I do not trust Facebook for two reasons.

"The first is they unethically connected my Facebook account to another Web site. And secondly, they obfuscated the means to undo that connection. An example will make this clearer.

"I was browsing CNN's Web site and I noticed a window in a corner of the screen. It displayed a Facebook 'Friend' along with a picture of them. I did not request this association to be made. What if I had been in a corporation when I was viewing CNN's Web site, as I was performing my job? And what if a Friend of mine connected to me in my personal Facebook account, and they used an inappropriate picture of themselves for their Facebook entry? If a co-worker noticed that picture, that could be grounds for dismissal from my company.

"This is why I do not trust Facebook. They had no right connecting my personal account to CNN. I then went to turn it off and was unsuccessful at learning how to do it. I spent one hour searching Facebook's Web site and could not learn how to do it. I then performed an Internet search, and that led me to a Facebook page with instructions on how to remove the connection. First off, I should have been directed to that page by Facebook, and secondly, those instructions did not work.

"For those reasons, I am advising my clients to not use Facebook for business purposes."

Do you recommend that clients use Facebook, and why or why not? Comment below or e-mail me at [email protected].

Posted by Scott Bekker on April 07, 2011 at 11:58 AM


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