With 800 million people having a Facebook account it is fair to say that ‘most people are on Facebook’. This video is the second part of my talk on networking at the University of Cumbria and how it can apply in social media. We filmed it to make it available to a wider audience, Workshop Media practicing what it preaches!
One of the interesting things I have noticed is that while a great many people are talking about the power of social media for promotion, I haven’t come across many topics that cover what makes social media so powerful. The idea that they are a social network, in essence a continuous networking event that isn’t bound by geography.
The scary part is that quite a few people use social media profiles as part of their research, if you’re not there, you don’t exist.
Finally it is worth noting that the principles of networking apply on social media, it is just a different tool to connect with people.
To Network on Facebook…
You need to be on Facebook. That simple really. Facebook provides a snapshot of your details covering:
1. Who You Are
2. Where You Are
3. Where You Work
4. What You Studied
All these are very useful information points for you to research who you are going to be meeting at a physical location.
Profile Features to Network on Facebook
The Facebook Profile allows you to share experiences with others, through people’s news feed if you are friends BUT by using your @username and your friends @username in the posts you will appear in the friends of your friends news feed, increasing your exposure. This works with business pages as well so it is worth bearing in mind.
Keep a look out for this happening on your news feed and if a post intrigues you click on the blue highlighted name to find out more.
A Facebook profile is also really useful for highlighting connections between people such as:
1. Mutual Friends
2. Events You Are Both Attending
3. Shared Groups
4. Shared Posts
This is a really useful tool at working out the best routes to take to meet people. You don’t have to be on LinkedIn to ask for an introduction! These features are also good for starting conversations.
Unfortunately, in order to make best use of the features to network on Facebook you need to be connected as ‘friends’. If you are like me, you use your Facebook profile as a personal space you don’t necessarily want to add friends ‘willy nilly’ then two options exist for you if you still want to network on Facebook:
1. Activate the Subscribe Function
This allows you to let people subscribe to your feed and select which posts can be viewed by subscribers
2. Consider using Facebook Pages
This is a separate profile to your personal profile but acts very much in the same kind of way
Facebook for Business
To have a Facebook page, nobody said you had to be corporate! I have seen coaches, trainers and professional advisers create their own Facebook pages for their business profile, same person, different persona.
It is primarily a business platform that allows you to promote your business, its products and create Facebook Ads.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use it as an individual though to network on Facebook. The only real difference between a Profile and a Page is that instead of Friends you have Fans (although Facebook has taken away that term, replacing it with ‘Likes’… same difference). It still lets you connect with people who like what you have to say, building awareness through word of mouth. Every time someone ‘likes’ your page, that appears on their news feed to their friends. The core features that I mentioned for the Profile still works on the Pages.
I continued talking about networking and social media, moving on to How To Build a Twitter Network.