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How To Create a Hybrid Facebook Account

May 20 2011

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In response to our members interest in learning the steps to separate their friends list into friends/family and work contacts. For real estate professionals who see Facebook as being a great way to connect with old classmates and friends, but also want to begin to harness Facebook's marketing tools to drive their business, it is essential to learn how to layer your friends into various groups, and drive different messages to each group.

I will begin by saying this can be time consuming if you already have a large amount of friends. But it will save you from having to create and maintain two separate Facebook personalities. There are definite advantages to a hybrid Facebook account, once you have gotten past the initial pain of re-grouping all your friends.

Benefits of creating a hybrid account:

1.) You only need to remember one login

2.) Your work contacts and family won't have to worry which Facebook account is the "real" you. They only see your one account and won't get confused.

3.) You can select which photo albums your work clients get to see, and you can select which photo albums your family gets to see. If you would like to share pictures about your daughter's wedding with your friends, but not necessarily your new seller, you can select only friends to view that album and block your work clients from seeing it.

4.) You can select which group of Facebook contacts can see/read which status updates, links, questions and videos. If you have a virtual tour you would like to promote on Facebook, but do not want to flood your friends' news streams with your videos, you can send your virtual tour out to just your work contacts.

This how-to guide will train you on how to complete the following:

1.) Learn how to separate out your friend lists into family/friends and work contacts

2.) Learn how to accept new contacts and instantly choose which list they belong in

3.) Learn how to set permissions on photo albums and status updates to target each group of Facebook contacts

First, let's learn how to separate your friend list. I will use my personal Facebook account to demonstrate this.

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To begin with, sign into your existing Facebook account and look to the top right corner of your profile. Click on Account, and the Edit Friends.

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This will take you to the full list of your current Facebook "friends." Assuming you have not grouped your friends into categories,

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As you can see on the far left of the screen, have already grouped by friends into three categories: Best Friends, Family and Work Contacts. Assuming you have not separated our your friends, you will first want to think through what you would like to call your contact groups. You may opt for Friends/Family and Work to keep it simple.

To create a list, start by clicking the button opposite the Header "Friends." Click on "Create a List."

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Once you have done this type in the name of the new list name you would like to create. For example: Work Contacts.

Now you can begin to click on each contact by scrolling down the long list of friends, or by searching for each contact by name. You can tag as many or as little as you would like.

Once this is done, click "Create List."

For the purpose of demonstration, I choose to create a list for "Co-Workers." I choose the first two names I could think of and Facebook intelligently generated a list of "Suggested For This List."

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Once you have all the right people selected as Work Contacts, you can go back to the full Friends list and start over, create a new list, title that group and select all the contacts you would like to fit into that list.

After separating all your contacts into lists, the next thing to train on is how to maintain the organization you just went through. So the next time you have a friend request, make sure after confirming that person as a contact, you drop them into the right list.

For example, today I received a "Friend Request" from three people.

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I have the choice to confirm them as friends, or select Not Now, because I either do not want to add them yet, or I truly do not know these people and do not want to add them to my contacts.

I do want to add one of these people to my list of Work Contacts. So I choose Confirm for that individual, and then I have the option to choose which list of contacts I would like them to be in. Then I click Save and it's done!

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Now the final step of this process is to go through and decide the privacy levels you would like to set up for each contact list. This is where you control what information you would like to provide to each list of people.

Go back to your profile page, click Account at the top right of the profile and then click on Privacy Settings.

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Once you are in the Privacy Setting page, click the Customize Settings.

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Now you will be able to set permissions for the main sections of your Facebook profile, such as posts by me, family section, relationship information, website and more. Right now mine is set that anyone can read my bio, see my website, and learn about my basic information, like email. I have much stricter settings for posts by me, pictures I am tagged in and religious/political preferences.

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If you are unsure whether or your privacy sections are working, and what they look like, you can click on the Preview my Button on the top right to type in the name of a contact and be able to see the view of your profile they now see. This will help you monitor and see first hand how your privacy settings work.

Below you can see an example of the three different views of my Facebook profile. The first one is the view someone would get who is not in any of my contact lists, the second one is the work contacts view, and the third one is the family view. There is a big difference.

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The final tip to making this Facebook hybrid complete is to designate which Facebook statuses go to which group.

Let's say I want to promote the latest article to my work contacts, but not my friends and family.

Type in the status update you would like to share. Then click on the lock icon, where the red arrow is below.

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This will allow you to control who this message will target. So I click Custom settings, at the bottom of the options, and then I say "Make this visible to" specific people. Then I type in the name of the group of contacts I would like to target. In this case, I type in Work Contacts. You can also select a network of people, which is broader than your contact lists.

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You can choose either who you only want to read your status, or you can choose to isolate one group by choosing which group to "Hide this from." You can also choose to "Make this my default setting" if you tend to target one group of friends more consistently than another.

Once you are satisfied, click Save Settings.

This tutorial should help you organize and maintain one single Facebook profile, that targets many different groups.

Happy hybrid making!