Yes! Facebook Groups can help you grow your professional network

The moment you pronounce ‘Facebook’- the pics and messages of friends pop up in your mind. But have you ever imagined about using Facebook to grow your professional network? Yes! Facebook groups can help you grow your professional network. You must have heard about people losing their job because of weird posts on Facebook, but what about finding a job on Facebook? It’s actually possible because out of your understanding there lies a world of industry-specific Facebook Groups where you can connect with other professionals in your industry, and recruiters too. So here are some ways to influence Facebook Groups to help you grow your career or get you a job.

Confused about LinkedIn or Facebook?

Thought Facebook gives a more informal look compared to professional networking sites like LinkedIn, but still it’s a good to go with. It is true that there is very less information about your professional life on Facebook but on the other side, Facebook is more innate in culture, and it stands to reason that the average Facebook user probably winds up on the site on a regular basis. Though LinkedIn is more reputed on the basis of a professional point of view, but if it’s not a part of your daily online routine, you might find yourself forgetting to log in and participate in your professional network.

There is a very basic requirement of LinkedIn, that is to log in and update your career experience and work history. It gives very daunting feel like updating your resume, while Facebook has a more casual vibe that you might find less intimidating. Overall, they both offer similar features with a different network. You can plan and schedule events, hold discussions, pose questions and use direct messaging to keep in touch outside of the main group page.

But there is a vast difference in them and that is on Facebook you will have to toil hard to find the professional groups worth your time. Contrary to LinkedIn, Facebook includes all demographics, ages, and interests, so you might spend time wading through less than relevant content to find what you want.

Nevertheless, there is one thing to keep in mind that there are no secret recruiters who prefer social media to find candidates. But, according to a survey, most of the recruiters said that they use social media in the recruitment process, and many of those said they used Facebook. Actually, Facebook came in just a second behind LinkedIn for the network recruiters report using the most, so it does make sense to further your career by establishing a professional presence on the site. So, here is how you can get the most out of your Facebook Groups for your career.

Decide what type of group you want to join

There are various groups available on Facebook, but if you want it to work for your careers betterment you should be focused on public or closed groups related to your industry. It is easy, with public groups, you can join with the click of a button, while with closed groups, you will need to request an invite before joining.

To find such groups just try different search terms, like technology and your city, or industry-specific technology terms. After doing this you will see a list of all the groups matching your search terms, how many members they have and whether the group is public or closed. Keep in mind, before joining any group, take some time to read the page to make sure you’re interested in the type of content they share and the type of interactions they have. Also, you should check the activeness of the group too. Check where the group is currently active, with people posting as recently as one week.

Introduction

Once you find an interesting group who can help you to grow your career, just introduce yourself to the group. So, just because the group you join will ideally have a strong focus on your industry, you’ll know everyone is in it for the same reasons as you. Your focus should be to let people know about your experience in the industry and what you’re looking to get from the group. You should find other recent posts that you can respond to in order to show the other members you’re invested in the group. Especially in tech career connections are vital, so this is a time to create your online network as much as your in-person network, and Facebook is a great place to start.

Manage notifications

Facebook gives you a lot of control over the notifications you receive, so just adjust the notification settings within the group. The benefit of Facebook over LinkedIn is that Facebook does not send out newsletters regularly, whereas if you join a LinkedIn group you’ll find ‘group digest emails’ stacking up in your inbox. You can control these notifications, just like on Facebook, but it’s one less thing you have to think about if you join a Facebook group versus a LinkedIn group.

Facebook allows you to take a lot of control over how you want to receive notifications for Groups and your general news feed if you want to get a push notification for every update in the group or receive none at all. There is another option which allows you to choose only to be notified about significant posts, so you’ll always be on top of the most important information
Don’t forget to contribute

Don’t be a mere audience for others comment on the group. Contribute accordingly by sharing links or sharing knowledge. Also, comment on others posts too, just to help conversation going on.If you are having some job listings that you know about but is not interested in it, think about passing this along to the others in your group. If you do so, you never know who will think of you when they come across a job listing that they aren’t suited for, but you are.

What about creating events?

You do meet people virtually, then why not give it a thought to meet them offline too. Once you get connected with each other you should consider organizing a formal meeting for everyone to get together. It can be a small get together with the people in your group, or perhaps you can join forces with other relevant groups in your industry to organize a bigger conference or event. Facebook helps you do the same. It has built in controls to organize a group event, which makes it easy to plan and figure out how many attendees you’ll have, as well as to send out any updates before the date of the event.

Facebook Groups can be beneficial, it is only that you should know how to use it in a career point of view.