Facebook is largest social networking site on the web today for anyone and everyone with over half a billion users. While Facebook is definitely more of a social environment for connections, dialogue, sharing and community, there are a number of brand-building opportunities for you of which you can take advantage.
Here are just some of the ways that you can leverage this network’s features to more effectively establish credibility and communicate your personal brand:
Privacy Settings:Depending on your objectives, you can set the degree of privacy you want your profile to have. You can make it private, limit visibility to specific groups of contacts or make your entire profile public for anyone to see which will increase the visibility of your brand, as well as improve your profile’s search engine results.
Name: Make sure that your name is your real name and that by which others will search for you, or otherwise, it will be near impossible for others seeking you to make the connection. If you have changed your name (marriage etc.), you might consider listing both names for added searchability. It is importantly that you come across professionally, even if you are using Facebook for more social activities.
Photos: People do judge books by their covers. It’s a fact of life. Therefore, when choosing photos for your profile, as well as for your photo albums, choose only those which represent you, but also those of which you think your employer or your parents would approve. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show off your personality; however, there are so many people out there whose pictures do not make them look professional. If you have pictures that are questionable, just remove them. If you are tagged in photos that do not support your personal brand, untag yourself from them. Spend some time cleaning up your profile photos, your photo albums and your tagged photos. You never know who is looking at your profile and you don’t want them to come across something that taints your brand and leaves you missing out on an opportunity.
About Me: Physically plug your personal brand and supporting pitch or statement right into your Facebook profile. You can do this in the About Me box below your profile picture as well as the About Me section under your profile’s Info tab. You can also add more information about yourself, your education and your work history.
Likes & Interests: Under your profile’s Info tab, you will also find an area where you can list and link out to all of your interests and anything on Facebook for which you have hit the “Like” button. This helps customize your displayed personality, giving your friends and profile viewers a better look at who you really are and what your brand stands for.
Contact Information: Again, under your profile’s Info tab, you will an area for your contact information. Be sure to provide any email address or other contacts you would like to share with others to help make yourself more accessible. Also, include links out to your websites, blogs and other social network profiles to help cross-promote your brand-building activities.
Status Updates & Your Wall: Status updates and wall conversations are a great way to keep your friends and contacts up-to-date on all of your activities, as well as to share resources (articles, websites, book reviews etc.) to show that you not only have an expertise but you generously share your skills/knowledge. Your status updates and wall postings will not only remain on your page, but will stream into the feeds of all of your contacts for increased visibility. While you may use these to build your brand, don’t only focus them on yourself, or your efforts will come across self-serving and self-centered which will actually come back to hurt your brand. Similar to photos, make sure that you clean up your wall and remove anything that doesn’t support your personal brand or that may be found by others to be offensive or inappropriate.
Notes: Notes allow you to contribute a great deal more content on a given topic and may provide you a platform for sharing more information about your personal brand, more advice and insights into a specific industry or area of expertise or any other information you may choose to share.
Join Groups: Just as with most social networks, you can search for and join groups for almost anything. Carefully choose groups in which you can truly contribute relevant and consistent value and where you can increase the visibility and reach of your personal brand. You can contribute value by starting, joining or supporting into conversations with the “Like” functionality, as well as sharing valuable links to resources and articles to the group members. Keep in mind the 80/20 rule which encourages that no more than 20% of your contributions should be self-serving.
Create Groups: While it is hard to imagine that there isn’t a group out there for your industry or area of expertise, if you see a niche that has yet to be filled, don’t hesitate to get yourself in the game and create your own group. Use your Facebook group to bring together key contacts in your industry, become a contributor and thought leader to that community and market your blog, your resources, your offerings and anything else you want to share. Facebook groups allow group owners to brand their groups with logos, photos, profile information and allow them to share links, videos, photos, and start discussions with their members. Still keep in mind the 80/20 rule which encourages that no more than 20% of your contributions should be self-serving.
“Like” Pages: In addition to groups, Facebook allows companies, brands and people to create fan pages to promote anything under the sun. Search for pages in your industry or interest area and “like” them to become a “member” of the page and increase your visibility. You can contribute value by starting, joining or supporting into conversations with the “Like” functionality, as well as sharing valuable links to resources and articles to the page fans.
Create Pages: Pages are very similar to profiles, and so, you can create and complete a page around the brand of your blog or business, or you can create one for your own personal brand. Pages index well in search engine results and may be a tool you want to use to promote yourself and your brand professionally while keeping your personal profile on a higher privacy setting.
This information was provided to you by MBA Highway. We hope you have found it useful to your job search and career development.