Facebook---Controversy Erupts Among My “Friends”

Mortgage and Lending with Greenville, NC

I’ve been on Facebook about three months, which is more or less how long I’ve been here on ActiveRain. I’m finding, not surprisingly, people view their Facebook experience differently.


It will be fascinating to see how we, as individuals, manage this merging of the personal and business on this forum.


Back to the story! I was browsing through Facebook and my eye caught a comment posted between one “friend” to another. Both of these friends are professionals in the real estate industry, but in different capacities. All three of us have a number of mutual friends.


Posted on  Johnson’s Wall  was a statement from Smith to the effect that that he enjoyed Facebook as a diversion, allowing him to see what was going on the lives of his “friends” and he did not appreciate the forum being used for business solicitations. A little later Smith issued a status update wishing everyone would quit using Facebook for advertising.


A few minutes later Johnson fired back telling Smith this the is way social networking works for him. He is careful to have a mix of personal and business related communication. If Smith didn’t like it he could just remove Johnson from his friend list.


My perspective is that Johnson is an active Facebook member, but the majority of his posts are of a personal nature, with a number of updates on the kids and family. However, Johnson has recently made a job change and his most recent updates have centered on this change.


Additionally, in our area, we have seen a lift in activity in various sectors of our real estate industry. A number of status updates, including mine, have been celebrating this pick up in activity. So collectively, it probably has been a bit much.


Smith actually is one of the most personable individuals you will ever meet. He is the life of the party and the kind of guy you can’t help but like. I will have to say I was a little surprised at his reaction.


I can see that this conflict of the merging of personal and business is a dilemma here on ActiveRain from post I am reading.


Examples of posts I have recently read:

Sara Bonert wrote “Do You Have 302 Friends”

Michael Fontana has written “Less Is More For Facebook Friends”

Heather Goodwin posted Please Don’t Hate Me Because I Removed You From My Friends List”


It strikes me that Facebook means different things to different people and I am sometimes surprised how “friends” react.


How are you managing the merging of personal and business as it comes to Facebook? What does being on Facebook mean to you?



As for me I enjoy the experience and my business is part of who I am personally. If you look me up in Greenville, NC and make a friend request, let me know how we may be networked/acquainted (eg. ActiveRain) I will confirm you. I am interested in how you are using Facebook.




Jay Williams



Comments (52)

Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Michael, I joined facebook, in the beginning, as another way to engage with my college student children. Once there and in trying to develop a "friend" base to me it clicked "Cast A Wider Net"

There is an author, whose name I can't spell without seeing it, that discusses factors of influence. Likability is one of those factors. I think showing that personal side to business "friends" tends to increase that likability factor.


On the other side I think it is important to reveal the professional side to you personal friends.

I have a few friends from here on active rain, as a way of watching how they are using facebook to gain ides.

I agree with you on the difficulty of building a fan base for a business page. One thing I've stating doing is posting, from my page to my profile, a "status update". I know it shows on the wall of some, just not sure if it registers with friends or just fans.

Glad I had the opportunity to direct traffic you way.


Feb 02, 2009 10:06 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Steve, sounds like you view facebook similar to the way I view it. To me that "overlap" or merging of personal and business is what it is all about.

Thanks for becoming a fan of my business page. I confirmed you friend request. I will look to see if you have a page and become a fan.


Feb 02, 2009 10:11 PM
Janice Roosevelt
Keller Williams Brandywine Valley - West Chester, PA
OICP ABR, ePRO,Ecobroker

I wish we could all keep open minds and open hearts

Feb 02, 2009 10:56 PM
David Phelps
The Roofing Company, Inc. - Portsmouth, VA

I actually had a friend complain that I change my prfile picture on facebook too much. My reply was "Made Ya Look"

I think if you look long enough you can find something you don't like about anything you see. I just think it is quicker to find what I like and stick to that.

Thanks Jay for letting me know I am not alone.

Feb 03, 2009 10:57 AM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

It work, work, work for me, plus I get to see my niece, nephew, cousins, and friends, too! It's a win-win! So far, I haven't had any "friends" tell me to cut out the work stuff. I would think if it offended them, they would just ignore it.

Feb 03, 2009 12:55 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Janice, I enjoy seeing both the personal and business side of my friends group. As long as they are not posting crazy stuff on my profile I'm ok. Haven't had that happen yet.


Feb 03, 2009 10:27 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

David, I guess we have to come to realize some people are just easily frustrated. Part of the deal is to draw a little attention to yourself, isn't it.



Feb 03, 2009 10:31 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Pat, no one has indicated any offense directly to me either. There was probably something else behind the frustration levied to my friend. There usually is.


Feb 03, 2009 10:34 PM
Christianne O'Malley
Dickson Realty - Reno, NV
Exceptional Service - Delivering Results in Reno!

I am on Facebook for a variety of reasons, but I use it for both personal and professional reasons. First, I was connecting with other real estate agents and professionals that I knew from living in different parts of the country. I soon found that high school friends were seeking me out. Now I have a mixture of both. I use a service called Ping.fm to update my status to multiple social media networking pages I have, and many are automated. So the updates my "friends" may see often are real-estate related. You would be surprised how many of my high school friends reach out to me, ask me questions about real estate, or give me kudos when I change my status to reflect a recently opened escrow.

I believe that everyone that I know needs to know I am a Realtor, especially in these difficult times. I also want my fellow Realtors to know I'm not a couch potato Realtor, but instead, actually a very active real estate professional in my area, and can be trusted with referrals. My updates that I have written a blog page on ActiveRain, or my own personal website are crucial elements of this strategy.

But I never neglect to remind them I am human either. If I am attending a son's hockey game, I note that. If my 3 year old is refusing to go to bed and is bunking with mommy and daddy tonight, I note that too. I think it's important that people know we're human, not robots, either. A good mixture of both should keep you in the good graces of all. And - keep the dialogue going, which is what I want.

Feb 04, 2009 12:25 AM
Tucson Real Estate Experts Anne McKechnie
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Tucson, AZ
Previews Property Specialist

I use facebook primarily for personal use and fun...I think people do want to know that we are human

Feb 04, 2009 12:50 AM
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
HomeSmart - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Jay, I really haven't found that many of my friends are using Facebook.  I have found many more business associates that I have connected with than personal friends, even though I originally joined Facebook to connect and re-connect with family and friends.  I think everyone has the right to use it however they want. 

Feb 04, 2009 06:48 AM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Christianne, Sounds like you've got a great mix of personal and business. Yours is very similar to the strategy I use. Except I've got to check out Ping.fm

Thank you for sharing.


Feb 04, 2009 10:08 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Anne and Eddie, I think showing the human side is important. Likability is an important factor as to why people do business with someone.


Feb 04, 2009 10:11 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Troy, I predict you will see more family and friends on facebook. The growth of the platform is incredible as are the opportunities.


Feb 04, 2009 10:14 PM
Kathleen Lordbock
Broker/Short Sale & Staging Specialist - Crosby, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

So far I am keeping it very light on FB & will throw in something occassionally of a RE nature, just so my friends do not forget what I do.

Feb 09, 2009 12:48 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Kathleen, I would think as a staging specialist, posting photo albums of your work on fb would be an excellent way to subtly do that. People like pictures.


Feb 09, 2009 10:00 PM
Erick Blackwelder - Woodbridge Virginia

I have CHOSEN to enjoy Facebook as a medium for conversations with TWO groups of folks in my world.

First, I began using Facebook last year to publicize events and options to my college classmates, specifically focused on our 30th class graduation reunion.  I was astounded when I found out that Facebook is the network of choice for my classmates.

Second, I have enjoyed guest-speaking at real estae and mortgage seminars all across the fruited plains for 12+ years.  My network of colleagues around the country whom I met through speaking and teaching are typically working and thinking at a higher level than the traditional real estate salesperson.

Local friends and family come knocking on my door with friend requests, and I quietly ignore them.

I fully support anyone who uses Facebook for any legal purpose, whether for personal connections, or business promotion.

If someone does not like my purpose when using Facebook, that is none of my business.  Their opinion of me is none of my business.

If Smith gets irritated by Johnson's posts, Smith is free to delete Johnson as a friend.  Smith has no business "shoulding all over" Johnson.

As the old song from Broadway said, "If you don't happen to like me, pass me by".

Feb 13, 2009 03:24 AM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Erick, since I'm neither friend nor family, but rather a mortgage professional I think I'll find you on facebook and send you a friend request.

Will you quitely ignore me? We shall see.


Feb 13, 2009 09:36 AM
Dawn Workman
Veracity Real Estate Group, LLC - Camas, WA
Camas Real Estate Expert, MBA, 480-540-8100

I love facebook and play there a lot each day.  I am considering kicking off a few of my friends and making it more professional though. 

Feb 18, 2009 03:31 PM
Jay Williams
Greenville, NC - Greenville, NC
Mortgage Loan Officer - Getting You The Right Loan

Dawn, one thing unless someone post something to your profile others can't see it. What you see on your home page by "friends" can only be seen by mutual friends.

I have decided to cast a wide net.

Have fun and use it the way you feel best.


Feb 21, 2009 03:36 AM