The Facebook Friend Request
You shared laughs. You shared good conversations. You did the business card exchange. You went home, and then it happened. You received the 'FB' friend request. What do you do? Add them? Ignore the request? Add - then put on limited profile? Well let me tell you here, go with your gut feeling. If it doesn't feel right, then give it a few more meetings before you respond to that request. If you believe that you will be bumping into them and want to avoid any kind of awkwardness, just laugh it off and be honest. Say 'hey, we have yet to go out to lunch' and take it from there. No one will incarcerate you for taking your time, however, you will definitely regret opening up your entire FB profile, personal photos and status updates with a premature friend request approval.
Professional FB & Personal FB
Create a personal page. If you do not have a business and you want to network with others through Facebook, creating a personal page and setting it up as a resume could really be beneficial. A personal page with limited photos, add education, work experience, websites, professional organizations and important hobbies can really help you to open up yet keep your personal life seperated from your professional life in a great way.
Be on top of your privacy settings all-the-time. Especially if you have things on your Facebook that you don't want everyone to see. Divide your friends into 'lists' and chose whom you want to share your statuses, pictures, and shared links with. No one but you will be in charge of your privacy settings and remember, it won't be held against you. Don't feel disabled because Facebook settings change all the time. Google it, youtube it and search it. The answers are out there for you and stay up-to-date.
Whether you have decided to go with a personal page, or to edit your existing FB page, make sure you establish yourself, your 'likes' and interests. Before you start asking friends to 'like' or 'Become a Fan' of your page, you need to consider posting about 20 or so educational links, links to current projects, past achievements or products you have worked on. This gives people a great insight into you, professionally.
Customize your URL
Customizing your Facebook URL will help in many ways. 1) You can add this URL to your business card. This directs peope to a social space that you are comfortable with sharing. 2) You are putting yourself out there. Sometimes people forget to send the 'great to meet you email' traditionally done after networking and meeting someone new, and this can easily be skipped by asking them to look you up via the URL.
Networking in Hong Kong can sometimes be stressful because the lines between personal and professional are easily blurred, especially as you get to know your contacts more and more. Stay in control of your Facebook and all anxieties about Facebook and friend requests should get nothing but better.
Until next time Hong Kong, keep networking, meet new people, and be Edgy.