TechWeb

10 Facebook Features To Help You Get Ahead

Jul 12, 2013 (07:07 AM EDT)

Read the Original Article at http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=240158047


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.




The old saying holds true: A picture is worth a thousand words. People respond to images -- literally, when it comes to social media. A post that includes a photo or a video is much more likely to be noticed than pure text. Post pictures that tell your professional story -- for example, an image of you presenting at a conference or a screen showing the final version of a cloud-based service you've been working on --along with appropriate pictures that tell your personal story. Savvy use of photos is especially important given their prominence in your timeline and news feed, and Facebook recently enabled the use of photos in comments. Facebook offers some tips for the best use of photos.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




Pages enable businesses and individuals to focus on a single brand, hobby, interest, function, etc. Pages can be customized with extras such as apps, images, stories and hosted events. Anyone who likes your page will get updates to it in their news feed.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




Most of us have amassed a collection of friends on Facebook who fall into very different categories: work friends, family friends, high school or college friends, neighbor friends and "why am I Facebook friends with this person?" friends. Facebook lists allow you to make certain content available to certain groups of people. You can use lists to filter the stories you see in your news feed or post an update for specific people. For more on how to set up lists, click here.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




Once you've posted content, it's a good idea to respond in some way to people who comment on that content. This can be as simple as liking the comment or it can be a thoughtful reply to the comment. One welcome change Facebook has made recently for pages is giving users the ability to sort comments chronologically as well as by "top comments" (determined by an algorithm based on quality). This has made it a lot easier for page managers to maintain a healthy flow of conversation and to ensure that nothing is missed. The new ability to include photos in comments (being rolled out to users over time) will make comments -- and replies to comments -- more engaging.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




Facebook recently made hashtags clickable on its platform. Similar to other services like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest, Facebook hashtags will enable users to create context or indicate that a post is part of a larger discussion. When you click on a hashtag, you'll get a feed of what other people and pages are saying about that particular topic.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




Joining Facebook groups is a great way to network and gain new contacts/information. Groups are by no means new in Facebook, but Facebook's improved search capabilities make it easier to find them. To search for a group relevant to your interests or industry, simply enter a keyword in the search field and then filter on groups.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




Graph Search has just been rolled out widely to Facebook users. The feature has gotten a lot of buzz, mostly because of the controversy it has created. According to my colleague Kevin Casey's recent story, Graph Search gives users the ability to plug in detailed combinations of words and phrases that filter and sort results based on your profile, your friends' profiles and other data. Kevin outlined eight things you need to know about Graph Search, including the need to tighten up your own privacy settings. But don't discount the benefits of Graph Search's deep and granular search, which can surface contacts and opportunities you might never have considered.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




If you have an Android-based smartphone, you can use Facebook Home, which puts the social network front and center on your mobile device. This feature requires a certain level of commitment or affinity to Facebook, but it will certainly help keep you connected if Facebook is really important to you.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




How many times have you been advised to check your Facebook privacy settings (see Graph Search on page 8)? And how many times have you said to yourself, "I'm pretty sure my settings are OK," or "I'll check 'em later." Part of the problem is that it's hard to know what level of protection is best, especially with the rapid pace of change on Facebook and other social networks. Facebook actually provides a good, detailed explanation of privacy settings and privacy-related issues. It's worth taking the time to read.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios




It's easy for content to get lost in the Facebook shuffle, especially since Facebook's algorithms play a role in what people see and don't see. If you have a particularly important post, you can give it more presence by promoting it -- for a fee. Suppose, for example, you post that you are looking for a new job, along with a photo and link to your e-portfolio. For about $7 you can promote that post, and see how it's performing by clicking "sponsored" underneath the post itself.

RECOMMENDED READING

Facebook Comment Photos: Worth 1,000 Words

Facebook Supports Hashtags: Better Late Than Never

Facebook Home: 5 Pros and Cons

Facebook's Revamped News Feed: 3 Things To Do

Facebook's New Privacy Policies: The Good News

Facebook Jobs App Takes On LinkedIn

7 Ways To Create E-Portfolios