Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004.
I’m betting you knew that already, given that Facebook currently has more than 800-million active users.
Since I am focusing on personal branding at the moment, we can ignore those aspects of Facebook that apply to businesses only, i.e. brand pages and advertisements. Well, maybe I will give a quick nod to the Pages feature.
Goto www.facebook.com/pages/create.php to create a branded Facebook page for a local business, company, institution, public figure, sport or cause. I created a page while researching for this article. I love some of the options you can choose if you create a page for a public figure. Yes, for the purposes of research I decided a columnist counts as a public figure. At least I chose writer as my designation. Some of the more interesting choices included monarch, doctor and fictional character.
After creating a Facebook page you can jump right to promoting this page using Facebook ads. Then link to your website from your shiny new page. It’s an easy way to integrate Facebook marketing into your other online efforts.
Back to the topic at hand, personal branding. Why were we doing this anyway? Oh right, to enlarge our Internet footprint, be noticed and get the job of our dreams. Or just to get noticed. That’s ok too.
If any of you are my Facebook friends or follow me on Tumblr or Twitter, you will have noticed some repetitive posts over the past week or so. For those of you who wondered, my accounts were not hacked, thanks for checking (smiles). Those Twitter posts were invitations generated by the not so new Facebook application, BeKnown.
Be warned, if you chose to invite people to BeKnown via Twitter, the application will use up your hourly post quota without so much as a warning.
We are already familiar with LinkedIn from my last article. How it has become a force in the corporate recruiting market and having over 135 million members. BeKnown has essentially the same purpose as LinkedIn with a few added features mixed in, all run through the mega-site Facebook. That gives BeKnown a potential user base of 800 million users. BeKnown was created by Monster.com. Monster was the main place to post your resume for years in the consulting world.
The issue as I see it is the rate of adoption. BeKnown has been live since June, 2011. As of late September BeKnown had approximately 1.4 million users, nosing out the nearest competing Facebook recruiting application, BranchOut, by a few tens of thousands. BeKnown has a long way to go before it can rival the 135 million members of LinkedIn.
How do the features stack up?
BeKnown & LinkedIn
— The ability to invite connections
— The ability to share different information professionally than you do in Facebook
— The ability to claim and manage company profiles
— The ability to post and share jobs
— The ability to give and receive recommendations based on a competencies or capabilities
— The ability to view second and third degree connections
— Zero fees for usage
— The ability to earn “badges,” which are professional achievements (a form of game rewards) for having the most number of connections, a large number of connections at the executive level, helping and endorsing others, etc.
— The ability to follow companies and view jobs from those companies, which are matched against your BeKnown profile (and your Monster.com profile). LinkedIn has a similar feature but without the Monster.com integration
LinkedIn has added many features over the past year including social integration. It is well established and promotes community involvement. A big minus for me is the price tag. Paid accounts start at twenty one dollars a month to over one hundred a month.
LinkedIn’s free accounts limit the number of connections you can have, hides the names of people who have viewed your profile, and limits to access to most of the new features.
It should be noted that this is a gloves off battle between platforms now. LinkedIn has cut off access to its databases from either BranchOut or BeKnown.
So which one to chose? I would recommend setting up both for the moment, just in case. My efforts in BeKnown have been mostly ignored over the past week, but time will tell.
Jon Reid is an IT professional working in Corner Brook. His column appears every other Tuesday in The Western Star.