How to Use Facebook for Networking
Facebook is a social network and primarily not a place to sell you, your products and services, or to blatantly ask for a job. But Facebook is a great platform for building and cultivating more meaningful relationships and can be used for networking purposes.
Because Facebook is a more social way of interacting with your connections than LinkedIn, it allows your social connections the non-business side of your personality. As a result, you need to be constantly aware of the type of information you are sharing and keep in mind how others may perceive this information. Depending on what you like to post on Facebook, it could impact how you approach Facebook for networking purposes.
The best ways that Facebook can be used for networking include:
- Using the Facebook email function to cultivate relationships with your friends that you don’t see in person on a regular basis.
- Researching companies and industry groups to gain insights that will help on job searches and professional development. This will give you an inside perspective about company cultures and industry dynamics that you may not find on a website. This is extremely valuable information that you can use during interviews, sales meetings and other discussions you may have during networking.
- Connecting with someone at a specific company. for whatever reason. If you have a friend on Facebook who works at that company or knows someone who works at that company, you can reach out via Facebook and ask for an introduction. This is especially useful when you may not have the most current contact information for that person and Facebook can be the best way to initiate contact.
- Participate in relevant Facebook groups and take part in discussions in those groups. A Facebook Group provides a community for people to share common interests. Only join a few key groups so that you can focus your networking efforts and be able to adequately establish some more meaningful relationships.
- Search on topics of interest to find relevant groups. Use keywords that relate for your area of interest.
- Research group to see if it is active and has regular participation from its members. Avoid groups where there is a lot of self-promotion and spam.
- Introduce yourself to the group, but don’t be “salesy”.
- Regularly review the group newsfeed.
- Comment and contribute with relevant insights and content.
- Start establishing rapport with other members.
- Explore opportunities to phone, skype and connect directly with key members for mutually beneficial networking.
Even though Facebook is a more social-based platform, you can use the strategies above to meet new people and make meaningful connections.