In September of 2012, the number of Facebook users pushed passed the 1 billion mark. By the end of January 2014, the company boasted 1.23 billion users. This is a staggering accomplishment for any business – and a great opportunity for the rest of us. With so many people actively using the site, it’s safe to assume that most people you know, have known or will know are active here and easy to connect with. And because Facebook is generally a ‘social space,’ you can use your ‘soft touches’ (link to post on how to stay in someone’s mind) to blur the lines between personal and professional exchanges and develop stronger relationships.
Here is how I use Facebook to stay ‘top of mind’ with the people in my network:
I respond to peoples’ status updates and also create my own. I share links to funny articles, ask for advice or comment about current events. You can also post what is going on in your life both personally and professionally. This lets others know what is important to you.
I post messages directly to profile pages, or ‘walls.’ You can also have a post show up on someone’s wall by tagging them in a post. This lets them know that you are sharing something directly with them and adds a personal touch.
I use Facebook to find out ‘more personal information’ from people’s profiles. Then, I’ll send birthday wishes, congratulate connections on their new ‘married status’ or ask them about their new job. I also use this information – especially the town they live in or the school they attended – to find out if we know people in common.
A word of caution: Facebook can be addictive! Beware of these two common pitfalls.
- Don’t over-post. It annoys everyone and sucks up too much of your own time.
- Think about the pictures you post. Because it is a social space, pictures of your daughter tasting ice cream for the first time or of your new three pound puppy named Skipper are appropriate (and serve as great opportunities for others to connect with you). Posting your drunken dance-off on top of the bar last night is not going to leave a great impression on your boss or future prospects.
Ready to venture deeper into the world of social networking? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post on Increasing Your Likability with LinkedIn.
Tags: social networking, social networks, facebook, facebook for business, how to use facebook, social networks for business