Women In Business

Why you should avoid connections with your clients on social media

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It seems like everyone has a social media profile these days. This is great because you can connect with so many people and maintain relationships that you thought were long forgotten. However, it is not good to establish a social network relationship with your clients.

Facebook alone has more than 2 billion monthly active users and not to mention all those other social media channels. It means that your business acquaintances probably have one or more personal accounts as well, so there is a chance that you’ll meet them in the digital world. In this article, I will explain to you why you should avoid connections with your clients on social media.

5 Reasons to Stay Away From Business Friendships Online

  1. It can ruin your professional relationship
    When you establish a social network friendship with the client, you reveal a lot of personal details. It doesn’t mean that you don’t share some basic private information with business partners anyway but social media go beyond that. In such circumstances, it is easy to fall into trap of getting more personal than necessary. It often makes people lose focus and stop behaving rationally, seeing you as a friend rather than the client.
  1. It can undermine your credibility
    A lot of people use social media to fool around and share funny content. It’s a leisure time amusement during which you make fun of your friends or even of yourself. Although it’s a completely acceptable behavior, some clients will take it seriously and forget the simple fact that you are a reliable partner. They will start judging you and stop believing in your professional credibility.
  1. They don’t like your attitudes
    In case you make online comments about serious topics such as the national politics or the global economy, there is always a chance that your client will strongly dislike your attitudes. Okay, not everyone has to love your opinion but you really don’t want to initiate an argument with the client because it could ruin your business efforts.
  1. You reveal white lies
    The best way to build business partnerships is to be honest from the beginning. However, this is not always possible and sometimes you just have to come up with white lies to keep everything under control. But if you connect with the client on social media, you drastically increase the odds of getting caught. They will notice your comment somewhere or see that you made an office selfie on the day when you were supposed to be absent – and the damage is done already.
  1. A client could try hitting on you
    This is the worst-case scenario but it doesn’t mean that it’s the rarest one. You would be surprised to learn how many businesswomen receive inappropriate messages on social media from their clients. Needless to say, it can completely destroy business relationships between clients. In order to prevent such an awkward situation, you shouldn’t ever connect to the client online.

How to escape the trap

Now that you are aware of the reasons why to avoid social media connections with clients, you should also learn how to eliminate a potential problem. First of all, you should never show initiative and send a friend request to the client.

In order to prevent the damage, you can edit profile privacy. This way, no one outside your friend circle will be able to see your posts, photos, or any other content that you share. You can even refuse friend requests from your partners but be ready to give them a solid explanation. For instance, you can say that you don’t make friends online with anyone from the business world.

But if you still have to accept a few professional connections on social media – I suggest you use a disclaimer. Simply add that your attitudes are not the attitudes of your company and you’ll make a clear distinction between the personal and the professional roles.

Conclusion

Business is business and you should not confuse it with your private life. Making friends with clients on social media can jeopardize your relationships and you should avoid it at all costs. In this article, I showed you 5 reasons why it is so wrong. Keep these suggestions in mind and let me know in comments if you had similar negative experiences.

 

About Kevin Freeh

Kevin Freeh’s mission is educating the world about the power of marketing. When becoming tired from writing, Kevin takes his backpack and hides in the mountains or rides his bicycle in the countryside. He will be glad to meet you on Twitter.

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