As part of our week devoted to social networking here we present the second in the two part guest post by our intern Lucy Wickens on how to use Facebook for networking and research, you can see her previous post here.
So hopefully by now you have successfully set up an account and are eager to become avid Face- bookers!
During conversations about business networking and marketing, it is rare that Facebook gets a mention. The majority of people write off social networking sites such as Facebook as places just for fun.
However, I will show you how to look beyond the obvious social features of sharing pictures of your latest weekend outing or poking friends on Facebook.
Whilst this is all great fun, Facebook is also an extremely good way to find others to network with, producing in turn, an ever growing professional contact list and an opportunity to broaden the research on your topic.
By using the Facebook features which will work for professional networking, all this can happen, together with brilliant opportunities to research and self- promote.
Follow my simple tips and you’ll be on your way….
Networking and Research
- In the middle at the top of the Facebook homepage, use the search engine to find relevant contacts. Facebook Groups are a great way to connect, discuss and network within the context of a common interest or topic.
- Think of groups which are relevant to you and which would motivate you. The ‘Groups’ filter is positioned on the left of the page and will enable you to filter down to groups of common interest. For example, search ‘publishing houses’ and you will be inundated with large publishing houses to small independent publishing groups, all which may help and advise you through your project.
- Browse through the profiles of these groups and if they appear useful and relevant to your specific topics need, press ‘join group’. Now as a member, you can read the groups updates, advice and information.
- On the Groups main page, there will be links to other similar related groups. This is a brilliant opportunity for you to also browse through these as it is likely you will find many more useful contacts and groups to network with.
- When searching for Facebook groups, always remember the best ones will have a regular feed of recent news, member listings for you to browse, a discussion board and wall posting tools.
- GROUP PARTICIPATION! USE the chance to network within the group! Post questions or advice on the wall, add links, join in discussions on the discussion board; even post your own topic for discussion! The benefits will be huge!!
- Once you have joined as many Facebook groups as you can and your contact list is fast growing; you can market your Facebook profile to successfully self- promote yourself and your work.
- To begin, it is a good idea to split your Facebook contacts into two. Go to ‘friends’ tab, click ‘all friends’ and your whole contact list will appear.
- Click on ‘create a new list’ and create a ‘professional’ list. Browse through your contacts separating relevant contacts into this list and leaving the remaining contacts to be your social list.
- Having done this, go to your profile privacy settings under ‘settings’. This tool with allow you to restrict access from certain parts of your profile from certain chosen contacts. For example, you may wish to restrict certain photo albums from your professional contacts and groups.
- When it comes to promoting yourself over facebook, it couldn’t be easier. By diverting to your profile homepage you are encouraged to ‘share your thoughts’ by creating and posting statuses. Together with participation on facebook group pages, you can easily use the status tool to promote yourself or your work, also linking in any websites which would benefit you from your contacts seeing.
- Regularly updating your facebook profile is a great way to keep in touch with your contacts, letting them know you are still around.
- Perhaps when you are becoming increasingly more established, you could also set up your own ‘fan page.’ People can use this page to follow your activities and stay in contact with you.
- See the ‘advertising’ tab at the bottom of any page within facebook. Click on ‘create page’.
- Think of an appropriate page name and name your page.
- You could also add a picture to the page which represents you or your work.
- By clicking on ‘edit page’, you can choose ‘posts by page and fans’. This will then serve as the default view for the page’s wall.
- Add an introduction about what your aims are for the page etc.
And this is where I leave you! Hopefully by following this advice you can successfully set up a Facebook account and enjoy researching, marketing and networking your professional careers over face book. Don’t forget to also visit Linked-In if you are considering career networking. Good luck!