Facebook is for friends and family. Yet there are some ways you can use it to build your business and your career.
I see articles giving people advice on how to get jobs through Facebook by re-establishing contacts with former co-workers and to use Facebook graph search. The advice that these people are giving is certainly good advice. There is no single best source for a job.
Personally, I find that Facebook is a lot more fun than it is productive for business. The is not a failing on Facebook’s part. The site offers all types of groups, professional, social, charitable, and others. They also offer dynamic company pages that can be beautiful, draw traffic, and provide terrific insights for businesses.
Yet I find that most people want to connect with friends and family on Facebook and steer away from business connections.
Perhaps the most overlooked feature of effective use of Facebook is finding people. Before connecting with people, just finding them is necessary and can be very difficult. Facebook has one billion people who have signed up and in most cases announced where they are today.
You can find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jaywrencpgtrends.
Google+ is a version of Google News. With a Google+ the information comes directly into the feed from the Google+ account holders. With Google news, the information comes from news website.
Also, Google+ provides social network interaction and does so without a commitment to sharing information in either direction. This feature makes it a little different from Facebook and LinkedIn where people connect through invitation.
On Google+, there are some very big names who have found large audiences. For example, Guy Kawasaki has been a techno-promo professional dating back to his success in promoting the Apple Macintosh computer in the mid 80’s. There are 4,495,200 people who have him in their circles. More people subscribe to his feed on Google+ than subscribe to most writers who publish from a website.
Google+ can be confusing in that the social networking really takes place in the Google+ communities more than in the basic circles. To illustrate just how confusing, Guy Kawasaki actually published a book titled What the Plus! Google+ for the rest of us.
From a career perspective, Google+ gives people name recognition way beyond their contacts and friends. The reason is pretty simple. Search engines look up information in their own database first. You can observe this process as it is taking place in the type-ahead feature of Google’s search engine. When a person types in information that is new to the search engine, the type-ahead feature stops. At that point the search engine goes from what it knows to what it can find on the Internet. Then it stores what it finds for the future searches.
When you put information about yourself on Google+, you are adding that information directly into Google’s database. Google search does not have to go out find Google+ account holders. They have already entered information they want other people to know right into the Google database.
You can find me on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/
LinkedIn is built for career and business connections. This website is undeniably the largest career resource on the Internet and where most people go to create their professional Internet profile. Ostensibly the purpose of LinkedIn is to make connections with other business people.
LinkedIn is also a great place to get answers. There are all kinds of skills- and knowledge -based groups where you can get answers on how to use Excel, how to develop marketing plans, how to write a resume, how to develop demand planner skills, how to become more effective at social networks, even how to create better ways to research information on LinkedIn!
LinkedIn is available in English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and more languages to come.
A person’s success in building connections, either through the development of groups or through direct connections, will determine the value a person gets from LinkedIn. I recommend that you send a personal note with each invitation. You might consider using a form letter, but I recommend that you add a personal and positive direct comment to your invitation.
Use a picture that will connect you with the type of people you want in your network. Remember to smile.
To quote directly from LinkedIn, here is how the website helps people. “Build and engage with your professional network. Access knowledge, insights and opportunities. LinkedIn takes your professional network online, giving you access to people, jobs and. Our mission is simple: connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.”
You can find me on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jaywren
Twitter and your career can connect. Some people are highly successful at building sizeable followings. Personally, I failed to use Twitter effectively by following company brands and news organizations that had messages consistent with my message but did not add value my network. I have begun to back away by dropping some of those and trying to widen my selection of people who are talking about things I need to know and for whom the connection will add value as they follow me.
There is an interesting quality to Twitter. I have seen some numbers and had personal experiences that lead me to believe that Twitter followers respond to direct messages in far greater numbers than do the members of other LinkedIn. These facts were a little surprising, given the business qualities of LinkedIn.
You can find me on Twitter https://twitter.com/jaywren
Please comment below. How do you use your these websites to build your career?
“The World’s Noblest Headhunter”
Image: Yoel Ben-Avraham/Flickr