Tales from the marketing dark side. Why you need your Facebook friend list to be private.

Did you know you can make your Facebook friend list private?

If you have not you should NOW. It was recently brought to my attention a creepy new marketing trend that uses you as leverage with your friends without you knowing.

Afraid? You should be.

Here is the deal. Let’s say you are a Realtor and you get a friend request from another Realtor.
It would be normal for you to accept it. Your business is in networking. I know of a Realtor recently who accepted an invitation from a mortgage “professional” who she had a few friends in common. She thought what is the harm? It never hurts to be friends with more people. Famous last words

That mortgage professional then tried to Facebook friend every single person on the realtor’s friends list. Yes, he turned the Realtors friends list into a mortgage mining database for himself. Gross right? When you get a friend request it shows who you have in common. Many people accepted just assuming this was the Realtor’s friend/lender and they must know each other. As soon as they accepted they got an email from the lender introducing himself and saying if they every need mortgage help to reach out to him. The way it was done it made it look like this person was the Realtors lender. He was not and never will be but unfortunately for the Realtor she had a full day of people calling her asking why this stranger was trying to friend them. Had this person been another Realtor they could have systematically poached the Realtors clients as once you friend someone all their posts come to your world. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in; this is the new thing so lock down you friends list now. Even if you do not work no one wants their friends/family being marketed to with their name attached. Make your list private now.

How to make your friend list private:

  • Go to your Facebook. This is for your personal page
  • Click on your profile
  • Click the hidden arrow next to the world in the upper right hand corner
  • Click on settings
  • Click on privacy
  • Where it says who can see my stuff look for who can see my friends list and change it to only me
  • Save your settings

Stay safe!

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