Creating Better Social Media Boundaries with Clients

Charlinda      Wednesday, May 17, 2017

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On social media, the line between personal and professional can quickly be blurred. It’s not uncommon for service providers to be friends with their clients on Facebook or follow and interact with them on Instagram.

Sometimes, this can make things awkward. For example, you have that one client who pays attention every time you log onto Facebook chat. As soon as he sees your activity, he’s quick to message you and ask about his latest project or wants you to Facetime him so you can tweak one last detail.

Problems like these can be eliminated if you take the time to put up some boundaries.

Determine What You Want to Share

You can start by thinking about the goal of your social accounts. Do you want to showcase a certain aspect of your life? For example, maybe you’re focused on losing weight and you post all of your gym selfies to your Instagram account. If you don’t want to share those images with the rest of Instagram, mark your profile as private and don’t feel like you have to approve follow requests from clients.

Maybe you like sharing pictures of what your kids are up to and you want to protect their privacy. There’s nothing wrong with refusing to accept clients as friends on Facebook or other social media networks.

Consider Who You Want to Share With

So, you’ve decided that your Facebook or Instagram account is private and only for family and real life friends. Try designating another social media profile as your business profile and connect there.

If you’re a business coach who shows newbies to create Facebook advertisements, then you may get a lot of friend requests from your clients. Instead of feeling like you have to accept those requests, create a Facebook page and let clients know that they should connect with you there.

Decide How You Want to Communicate

Social media isn’t usually the best forum to handle client interactions. You may get a follower that would like to pick your brain right before logging off or you might have a client that wants to add new tasks to your to do list and chooses to message you on social media.

This can make you stressed out and tend to avoid social media. One way to prevent this is to allow client communications to only come through your email or help desk. You could start by posting a message to your social profile like this:

“Here’s my 3 day notice: I’m not going to be responding to messages on social media any more. If you send something to me through Facebook/Twitter/Instagram, it will not be read.”

The next day, post a similar message like this one:

“I’m getting a lot of social media messages lately and it’s easy to miss one. From now on, I’m going to accept communication only through email or my help desk. Any messages you send me on social media won’t be read.”

How to Handle a Boundary Bumper

Some clients may think your social media rules don’t apply to them or they may simply forget and message you anyway. If this happens, you can send a quick 1-line message. Say something simple like: “Please email me or contact my help desk for support.”

Remember, making yourself #1 isn’t about giving your clients second best. It’s actually about doing the opposite. When your business is thriving, you're attracting the best possible clients and you’re doing work that feels fulfilling and fun!


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