Facebook: The Black Sheep of Social Media Optimization?

Posted on July 6th, 2012 by admin in Social Media, Technology | Comments Off

It’s no secret that individual professionals and organizations alike are learning the value of social media as an advertising tool. Whether you’re advertising your personal skills in order to land a job, or you run a business that is hungry for success, optimizing your social media can help you get there. Not only does social media offer the opportunity for individuals and businesses to personally connect, but the discussion that occurs on social media sites will bolster an individual’s, or a business’, online presence. Additionally, most social media sites are free to sign up with and provide more utility than most individuals or businesses are able to keep up with. Yet, while most professionals wouldn’t bat an eye when signing up for a site like LinkedIn, in regards to one of the most prominent social media sites, Facebook, opinions are divided.

Many feel that Facebook is not a professional site and should not be affiliated with their business or career. Others have maintained personal Facebook pages for a longtime and desire to keep that part of their life separate from their work life. Still, some find Facebook to be a perfect fit for their personality or occupation and embrace it as a tool that can be used in their professional life.

With so many divided opinions over the professional use of Facebook, who is right? Like many things in life, the answer depends on individual personality and what one hopes to accomplish.

One of the first questions to ask is, “Where will people be looking for me?”. If you happen to be the CEO of a company that works on government defense contracts, it’s not likely that your clients will be searching for you on Facebook, and any attempt to advertise on Facebook may be an inefficient use of time and money. Additionally, some occupations and businesses may require a deft touch in regards to publicity, and a site that allows users to comment as they wish will be less than desirable in these situations.

For those that wish to keep Facebook personal, there is the option to create a “public figure” profile which can be maintained separately from a personal page. Again, whether or not creating such a page is beneficial will come down to the career and end goal of the individual in question.

One thing is certain though. Facebook has one of the largest audiences available on the Web and even if people aren’t searching for you on Facebook directly, Facebook scores highly on other search engines. Many who fear to advertise on Facebook may very well be missing out on a great opportunity.

Currently, the individuals and companies that are having the most success with Facebook are embracing it for what it is. At its heart, Facebook is still primarily a personal site people use to socialize with their friends. Thus, those who find their personality and career go hand and hand may be extremely successful when networking and/or advertising on Facebook. Additionally, any business that serves a social function, such as a bar or a restaurant, may find that Facebook is a great place to build a local following. The appeal to join Facebook has increased for these businesses due to the advent of Facebook’s location feature which allows users to post their location at any time over almost any device. When people see businesses their friends patronize on Facebook, they may become interested themselves. Other businesses that work well with Facebook tie in with things frequently discussed on Facebook. For example, the music, movie, TV, publishing, and other entertainment related industries are starting to find traction by advertising to Facebook users.