In My Humble Opinion
I’ve been using LinkedIn to showcase my professional work history, resume and portfolio for years, and I have used Facebook for about the same length of time, perhaps longer, for my personal recreational entertainment and centralized personal communications, for a lot longer. But, I have to admit, I never once thought to use Facebook on a ‘professional’ level, as I use LinkedIn.
I’ve become quite skilled with using LinkedIn after all of these years. I’ve even gained a status as an ‘expert’ user, when I began to add my multimedia creations and my writing samples. I felt so proud. I felt like some kind of ‘power user’, or something. I always wanted to learn how to fully utilize LinkedIn to better promote my skills to potential employers. Recently, I was satisfied to finally reach that much coveted goal.
So, which is better, Facebook or LinkedIn?
Oh, No! Not ‘Options’!… -Again!
Seriously, doesn’t everyone have a LinkedIn account, and isn’t it always after you’ve completely mastered using a site, when a plethora of other ‘wanna-be-the-next-coolest-thing’ sites have to jump into the fray, like a bunch of little hyperactive puppies, and ruin everything, giving people “options”? …”sigh!”
It gently ‘forces’ you to pensively opt into creating yet another profile in cyberspace for fear that potential employers will stop looking at LinkedIn! “What? I’m no longer on the professionally “cool” site anymore? OMG! NO! Say it ain’t SO!!!”… “sigh!” Yes. It’s frustrating even for the most experienced ‘social media’ followers, too.
It’s true. Especially for us older folks (yes, I am over that proverbial hill, too) who diligently try to keep up with all of the technical and social media online trends. This is no easy task, and a little confusing too, actually! To even complicate matters further, my favorite social media site for all my leisurely online play time is going all ‘professional’ on me, now? “Whaaaaat!?!?!?!” (sigh!). Where’s that “unfriend” button, just when you need it most? By the way, Zuck, (Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO) we’re still awaiting development on that, too!
Will I have to create a professional profile on ‘Facebook for Professionals’, as soon as possible? What if employers all gravitate over to use Facebook as the new standard for seeking out new talent? Where does that leave me if I don’t join Facebook Professional? I would really hate to be in an interview and be asked why I am not using the latest and greatest mode of business social media to profile my skills. That could be a make or break moment for consideration for a great position, or at a reputable company. Really social media has ‘that’ much power? …”Wow!” …”Unlike!”
What makes Facebook for Professionals better than LinkedIn, or vise-versa?
Well, LinkedIn is one of the largest sites at 300 million users worldwide and has a large ‘active’ following. Whereas, Facebook has a much larger following than LinkedIn, but are attempting to capitalize off of their 900 million (not always active; not always serious) casual users. Which leads me to believe that the old adage of quality over quantity applies here. LinkedIn has a longstanding reputation as a serious business site for employers to seek qualified employees and for employees to gain credibility in being proficient users of social media.
I’m not suggesting that Facebook would not be a serious contender in this area. I’m simply saying to ‘proceed with caution’. Facebook is new to this social media arena, which means they need time to cultivate an audience and a ‘following’. Then there is the concern that since so many people ‘play’ on Facebook, could this actually be an effective and reputable outlet for displaying one’s career aspirations publicly? As a loyal LinkedIn member, how’s does Facebook intend to compete with LinkedIn’s online profile holders, where users are 40 times more likely to receive job opportunities simply by having a profile on LinkedIn?
In Defense of Facebook
In their defense, Facebook is on the right track and they almost always have to keep seeking different ways to maintain social media competitiveness, social interest and mass appeal for their own survival. That’s just the nature of social media and technology in general, in today’s modern society. We, as a society, are fickle with a short attention span, too. So, all that is subject to change at a moment’s notice.
Facebook’s strategy is on point and perfectly timed to earn some serious business credibility as they maneuver away from all that Facebook “fun” and “escapism” from reality that we all really, really, really enjoy! Perhaps their intention is to make business more “fun”? “Great strategy, Zuck!” 😉 <wink!>
The ‘Next Great Site’ Syndrome…
Social media itself isn’t going anywhere anytime soon either. In fact, it’s here to stay. You haven’t seen anything yet! It’s only in its infancy right now, but… -“no worries” there’ll be plenty of time to agonize over the tidal wave of sites giving us options and agony over which site to join and which to forfeit.
It all equates to trends. What’s hot, and what’s not, and that is where our boredom drives each wave to our personal social media shores. That’s right, our fickleness, our boredom and our addiction for the next ‘latest and greatest’ thing is just what is driving us to be inundated with so many site choices presented to us, constantly!
The one important thing that will separate the legitimate sites from the “wanna-be’s” will inevitably be the usability factor. The total and most simplified user experience. How easy is it to join the site, to set up an account, to create a profile, to add media, to customize, to maintain it, to communicate using it, to broadcast it, also, is it secure and interactive? Is it guaranteed to gain in popularity? Also who, if anyone is actually using it? Not everyone is proficient with technology. I know. I know. …”Shocker!”.
But, seriously, these sites have to be simplistic, fast and easy with overwhelming mass appeal. If that can be achieved, then, “hey, Facebook”… we can have some real “fun”! 😉 <wink!>