While LinkedIn is widely viewed as the most important social network for professional development, Facebook is an extremely powerful platform for career advancement, too. Not only does it have over 2 billion monthly active users, many of whom are prospective employers, colleagues, and clients, but it’s also now equipped with highly effective search functions that hiring managers make use of daily to source and screen candidates.
The bottom line? If you’re not carefully managing how you represent yourself on Facebook, you’re doing yourself, and your career, a great disservice. We should all be leveraging this channel to position ourselves as leaders in our industries and to draw attention to our skills, connections, and experience.
To help you get this right, we’ve put together 7 tips for promoting your personal brand on Facebook below.
1. Define your brand
You can’t establish your personal brand without first having a clear understanding of what it looks like and stands for. So, take the time to consider how you’d like others – potential employers included – to perceive you on Facebook. Ask yourself, “What do I want my audience to know about me?”, “What kind of story am I trying to tell?” Once you’ve figured out how you’d like to present yourself, make sure everything you do on Facebook reflects this image – consistency is key, so you might want to implement your branding strategy on your other social networks, too.
2. Cover the basics
There are a number of simple actions you can take immediately to strengthen your personal brand on Facebook. Start with the following:
- Edit your username and vanity URL to include your full name as it might appear on your resume, for example. This will make your profile more accessible and easier to find.
- Upload an appropriate, high-quality profile picture – it doesn’t have to be too “corporate” but it does need to align with your brand story. Make sure your face is clearly visible in the photo.
- Complete your profile with enough information to give viewers a good idea of who you are (professionally, at least). Focus on the Work and Education section and include details about your current and past positions, qualifications, and professional skills. Remember to optimize your profile for search by using important keywords. If you have a professional website, blog, or portfolio, you can include links to these in the Contact and Basic Info section, along with your phone number and email address.
- Under Timeline and Tagging Settings, opt to review posts you’re tagged in before they appear on your timeline. This way, you can control what goes on your wall and keep embarrassing photos off it.
- Adjust your privacy settings to control who can view your profile and posts and limit who’s able to find and contact you. To successfully grow your Facebook brand, you ideally want to be easily discoverable, so a watertight account might not serve you well. That said, you also don’t want just anyone to have access to your private information, so aim to find the right balance.
3. Network, network, network
The wider your audience, the higher the chance you’ll make connections that could lead you on to the next big thing. So, invest time in growing and nurturing your network – search for former colleagues and study peers using Facebook’s filtering functions; import contacts from your phone or email account; join groups (more on this below), and regularly engage and interact with your community. All this said it’s also important to associate yourself with the right kind of people, so do an audit of your audience and keep only those connections whose interests, goals, and values align with your own.
4. Get active
One of the fastest ways to strengthen your personal brand on Facebook is to regularly post content that ties in with the image you want to portray. You could, for example, include updates on your work successes, share videos that explore topics central to your industry, link to your latest blog post, express your professional opinion on matters, or share articles that you find interesting. If you’re having difficulty finding links worth sharing, you could always use online content aggregators to help you source relevant articles instantly.
5. Consider creating a Facebook page
This way, you can keep your personal profile private and use your page to promote your career brand. It’ll help boost your visibility and credibility, and you’ll have access to options like targeted Facebook “Page Like” ads and promoted posts, which can greatly improve your reach and expand your network. With a Facebook page, you can also display testimonials written by individuals you’ve worked with previously in the Visitor Posts section.
6. Join or start a group
What better way to showcase your expertise in a particular field than to start a Facebook group focused on a topic or cause relevant to your industry? Make sure the group you create adds value for others in your professional community, and you’ll quickly establish yourself as an authority in your line of work. You can, and should, also join existing groups that relate to your profession and position yourself as a valuable contributor here, too.
7. Join or start an event
Similarly, a great way to promote your personal brand on Facebook is to organize an event that brings together like-minded individuals in your profession. If you’re a freelance graphic designer, for example, you could arrange a gathering of independent creative specialists to discuss shared challenges and potential solutions. Be sure to also look out for and join events in your area where you might have the opportunity to meet other professionals who can support your career in one way or another.