Facebook and its role in International Business


During my Web 2.0 class, I share with my students my belief about progressive disclosure as it relates to their personal brand. The gist is this. You need a LinkedIn account and it should be something your grandmother (or HR) would appreciate, complete with professional photo dependent on your vertical. You may have a Twitter account and this is a combination of professional insights and personal notes. (You may also chose to pump some of your tweets that are laced with personal insights, into LinkedIn by including a ‘#in’. This can be done in your LinkedIn settings.) Facebook however is completely a personal decision. I think of Facebook as my family and friends and an occasional coworker. (Actually coworkers on my FB account need to be removed – not you Mike – as I start to use Facebook for more family related things.)

That’s what I recommend students do.

Now, I also know that business internationally is based more upon relationships. Real relationships and not just “I work with that clown” or “they’re the cheapest so they must be the best!”. 70% of Facebook users are outside of the US. This means that, based on what country you’re doing business in, you may need to ignore my advice. In fact, Facebook may be a very large key to successful business transactions as social media grows in importance. Please don’t misunderstand me. I still believe it’s important to only have real connections on Facebook. It’s just that international business traditions in other countries may dictate the need to have deeper connections with business partners. And Facebook could be the best way to do that.

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