Love it or hate it, Facebook is a communications platform that can't be ignored. Whether you're looking to get noticed, get ahead, get a job, get better connected, or all of the above, it makes sense to make the most of Facebook.
There's a lot of talk these days about Facebook becoming too commercialized, and it's often accompanied by vows to "quit" Facebook. And it's true that Facebook news feeds include an increasing amount of promoted content. But based on stats from Facebook itself and other sources, the complaints are more talk than action when it comes to actually abandoning the social network.
Facebook now boasts well over a billion subscribers, but more importantly, its daily active users (DAUs) totaled 665 million on average for March 2013, an increase of 26% year-over-year. Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.11 billion as of March 31, an increase of 23% year-over-year. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, reached 100 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2013 -- and that was before it added new video capabilities.
So sure, LinkedIn is a more appropriate platform for professional networking and job hunting/recruiting, but Facebook can be used to make connections, showcase your professional thought leadership, and demonstrate that you are a well-rounded, truthful and serious candidate. That's because hiring managers are increasingly scrutinizing social networking platforms -- and your activity on them -- for any signs of ... let's call it "untoward behavior." Potential employers, recruiters and perhaps even your current manager are also using them to assess how you come across professionally -- basically, how well you've cultivated your brand on social networks, and therefore what you would bring to a new company, job or partnership.
That means it's important to leverage any social network to its full capacity. And that can be difficult because features and best practices are not always obvious. That's especially true on Facebook, which has unfortunately become known for confusing and ever-changing security and privacy policies, not to mention new features that tend to unceremoniously show up in your profile and on your pages.
In the following pages we recommend some features, tips and tricks that can help you make the most of Facebook professionally.
Please let us know how Facebook is (or isn't) working for you in the comments section following this slideshow.
Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.