Career Planning Finding a Job Using Facebook for Professional Networking By Alison Doyle Alison Doyle Facebook Twitter Website Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts and has counseled both students and corporations on hiring practices. She has given hundreds of interviews on the topic for outlets including The New York Times, BBC News, and LinkedIn. Alison founded CareerToolBelt.com and has been an expert in the field for more than 20 years. learn about our editorial policies Updated on August 31, 2022 In This Article View All In This Article Evolution of Facebook Facebook Tools Apt for Networking Social Vs. Professional Networking Tips For Using Facebook for Professional Networking Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Photo: AsiaVision / Getty Images Across the world, there are a lot of people are on Facebook. As of December 2021 on average, Facebook had 1.93 billion daily active users and 2.91 monthly active users.The question for job seekers and other professionals hoping to build their career is whether those people include hiring managers, recruiters, and other people who can help – and if so, whether Facebook can help get their attention in a positive way. Key Takeaways Facebook's billions of global users provide a big opportunity for networkingFacebook also has many tools that make it conducive for networking over competitors such as LinkedInTips for Facebook networking include creating and maintaining a professional profile, including restricting access to inappropriate contentYou could post insightful content and engage in Facebook groups or communities to establish your presence Evolution of Facebook Facebook started as all the rage with young people, but it has evolved over time to become surprisingly popular with older people. According to Pew Research, as of Feb. 2021, 69% of U.S. adults reported using Facebook at some point. The study also revealed that Facebook is more popular among those aged 30 years-65 years than people younger than 30 years of age. Therefore, using it for professional networking is a more natural process. Whereas, for most people who have been in the workplace for decades, LinkedIn is the more straightforward platform to use. It is strictly for professional purposes and although it has evolved to support more frequent sharing, has far fewer features than Facebook, making it ideal for the technologically challenged. Note While its perception is more casual, think of Facebook as a way to network with peers, business leaders and clients on a more personal level. But there is no question that, if used appropriately, Facebook can have a very positive, and arguably, a much more significant impact on your career goals. In fact, Facebook, not LinkedIn has become the professional networking platform of choice for high-level business people, including T-Mobile CEO John Legere. And with access to an audience of billions of people, they’d be remiss not to. Facebook Tools Apt for Networking When comparing Facebook’s range of features to that of LinkedIn’s, there is a clear winner from a social perspective. With Facebook, you can create event pages, fundraisers, widgets, and tools for countless other applications. Learning how to use these features properly can be overwhelming, especially for those who aren't Facebook savvy. Therein lies the dilemma for those who wish to both simplify and keep their personal life separate from their work life. Note Facebook’s expansion of the work and education section and its myriad of new features including live video has also lured professionals. However, you don’t necessarily need all those features when you are job searching. From a business perspective, LinkedIn is the site most employers use to source candidates, and it’s the site a recruiter will check first to learn more about your professional credentials. The Line Between Social and Professional Networking The line between social and professional networking can get blurry, and knowing when to draw it is critical to advancing your career. If you're careful about what you share and use your connections wisely, social media can be an excellent tool to both build your career and decide what party you want to go to or movie to watch – a win-win! Note Facebook users, who use the platform for both personal and professional purposes should be diligent about what content (e.g., photos, videos, status updates, etc.) they allow prospective clients, employers, or business partners to see. You can restrict access to your content by adjusting your privacy settings. Promote and personalize your professional brand by posting informative articles, inspiring photos and videos, and engaging with your audience on a personal level. But don’t post just anything – be tactical, selective, and authentic for greater impact. For those of you who want to build your life lifestyle brand, you’ll probably be more open than other professionals, but still practice discretion when sharing what you’re doing, thinking, or feeling. Tips For Using Facebook for Professional Networking Some experts warn that Facebook and business don’t mix well. But if you do decide to use it for business as well as socializing, there are a few things to have in mind in order to keep your sharing safe for work. Professional Profile Make sure your Facebook profile is simple, professional and conveys the appropriate message aboutyour brand, whether you're a student, mid-career executive or a business. Minimize use of widgets or graphics, if that's not related to your brand. Ensure your profile image is a high-quality and professional. As mentioned above, use privacy settings to limit who can view what content and actively moderate any inappropriate tags. Follow The Leaders Start by following business and thought leaders in your areas of interest. Join communities and Facebook groups about your industry, business area or job profile. Insightful comments on other people's posts can often lead to relationship building. Following companies and industry associations can also be a good way to learn about any job openings. Note Facebook profiles of companies often also showcase programs and initiatives outside of their core business. That is good intel to understand the workings of a company's culture and fodder for networking conversations. Thoughtful Posts and Meaningful Engagement Post thoughtful content on your profile and interact with other members of groups to establish your presence. Be mindful of the any political or issue-based stance you take, especially in heated discussions. Note While its okay to disagree with someone's viewpoint on social media, its never okay to you offensive language. Consistently belligerent or combative behavior may not help with networking either. Leverage Your Existing Network Your existing network of friends and family can be a very useful tool to network professionally as well. For example, you could let your Facebook network know that you're looking for a job and they may know someone to help make an introduction or let you know of an opening. Creating a Business Page If you are a business owner or hope to start a business in the near future, the benefits of having a page or group for your business are two-fold: you separate your personal and professional life and can create a lot of positive exposure. If you're a consultants (e.g., personal trainers, life/health coaches), you could use your profile to network by holding interactive sessions using Facebook Live. Deliver Value and Follow Up Networking is a two-way street, you need to bring something to the relationship as well. Make sure you offer something of value to the connections you make. Just like in-person networking, its always a good idea to follow up with people in your network after you've spoken to them or check-in if you haven't had a chance to catch up with them in a while. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) What are the best Facebook networking tips? Start by creating and maintaining a professional profile. That includes a professional profile image, using polite language and moderating any tags to inappropriate content. Once you have a profile, follow business leaders or companies in your areas of interest. Post insightful content, join industry groups or communities and actively engage with other members. Remain polite and respectful in all your interactions. What is branch out networking on Facebook? BranchOut was a popular professional networking Facebook app founded in 2010. According to Crunchbase, it had more than 30 million users and had raised $49 million in capital from investors. However, the business failed and was subsequently acquired by HR-technology firm 1-Page in 2014. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Meta. "Meta Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2021 Results." Pew Research Center. "Social Media Fact Sheet." Walden University. "How to Use Social Media Professionally." Facebook. "John Legere." Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. "Online Professional Networking," Page 2. College of Education, The University of Texas at Austin. "Social Media for Professional Networking." Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. "Online Professional Networking," Page 3. Meta. "5 Tips for Becoming Better at Virtual Networking." Crunchbase. "BranchOut."