Social media etiquette is complex.

Imagine this.

You join a new company. You’re ramping up and getting to know your team. You’re learning the company culture and you’ve identified your go-to people to get work done.

Coworkers begin adding you on LinkedIn. You accept their connection request thinking nothing of it — it’s a professional network, right?

Days and weeks pass.

That dreaded badge notification alerts you. You just received a Facebook friend request from your subordinate.

Ugh.

Then an Instagram and Twitter follow request from your boss. Should you ignore their requests? Are you really “friends?” Maybe you should delete the requests.

We’ve all been there.

“Friendship at work can be really valuable to people. But it’s not a uniformly good thing,” said Nancy Rothbard, management professor at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton’s School of Business.

Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook Each Serve A Different Purpose

Instagram reveals snapshots of life, promoting body positivity, businesses, and anything in between.

LinkedIn showcases our proudest career accomplishments.

Facebook offers a mix of animal videos, memes, events photos, and media coverage.

And of course digital marketers want you to “like” or share a post with your Mom, friend, cousin, and even your boss.

Protecting your privacy on social media is important. Engaging with colleagues on social media is important too. Despite this dichotomy of priorities you can create boundaries.

3 Tips to Create Boundaries on Social Media

Identify the value of each platform. Perhaps using LinkedIn and Twitter to build your professional networks. While Instagram and Facebook are for friends and family.

Strengthen work relationships. Before you connect with a coworker ask yourself, “Where does this desire stem from? Will connecting strengthen our work relationship?” If the answer is no then you should consider ignoring the request or deleting it. (Fast Company)

Make your network work for you. If your network isn’t working for you, then change it. Declutter it. Watch, read, and listen to what inspires you. If influencers or entrepreneurs inspire you, follow them!

The Value of Network Effects

Your next connection may be a hiring opportunity. It may be an insight into a partnership. Or better yet, your next customer.

Are you ready to make your social network work for you? Let’s talk.