Facebook now has some more applications that can help you: Find Your Friends, OpenNetworker and Branchout. These applications attack the same issue from different approaches: Growing your network efficiently.
How can you easily grow your Facebook network?
Sure you could go through your friends’ lists, and invite people you know (or don’t know) to grow your network, but that takes a lot of time. These applications suggest people who are friended by many of your friends, who are in your friend’s business networks, or who are also looking to grow networks solely for the purpose of networking. This allows you to efficiently connect with a number of groups of potential Facebook friends:
- Friends of your friends
- People who have much in common with you (Interests, schools, employers, groups)
- Currently work in a company you’d like to work at
- Open Networkers who accept all friend invitations (as they also want to grow their network)
Using these tools also avoids the spam problem. Going through your friends’ list of friends and emailing them can look like spam to the Facebook spam police - and will likely get you a nasty email warning saying Facebook will explode your PC if you continue (or at lease kick you out of Facebook). This can happen by sending as few as 5 Facebook messages requesting a friend connection - It’s happened to me personally, and took a month of emails to get my account reinstated.
Instead, sending invitations through many of these applications generates a default message that tells the receiver that you’ve got like a gazillion friends in common - so don’t you think we should connect? Facebook doesn’t treat messages sent through these applications as potential spam.
Find Your Friends: Find Your Friends is a function included within Facebook - you don’t have to add anything. Access Find Your Friends from the right column of your News Feed. Find Your Friends includes the following functions:
- Find People You Email gives you a way to send bulk invitations to by searching your email account for people you already communicate with.
- People You May Know is Facebook’s friend suggestion vehicle - suggesting the friends of your Facebook friends. You can deselect someone if you don’t wish to connect and Facebook takes this feedback to make better future recommendations.
- Search For People is Facebook’s way you can search for classmates and current/former co-workers.
- Find People You IM: If you’re an IM user, Facebook can send invitations to people on your IM list.
OpenNetworker: OpenNetworker is an outside website that lists Facebook (and Linkedin, Twitter, MySpace and 16 other social network) members who have identified themselves as Open Networkers. This means that they also want to build their networks and are willing to connect to others seeking to grow networks - for mutual network gains.
While there is a small fee to join OpenNetworker, the site provides members with downloadable contact lists (including emails) to send invites to join your Facebook network (and other social networks).
The real upside to OpenNetworker is that this is a group that is also looking to build large contact databases. This means that few will view your friend request as intrusive, and many will already have large networks – giving you access to still more people through OpenNetworker. I get personally get about dozen daily inbound friend requests from people who want to add me to their databases through OpenNetworker.
BranchOut: BranchOut is a way to identify employees in your Facebook network (and your friends of friends who are also on BranchOut) by company. So if you’re trying to get a job at Google, you can search Facebook for your friends (and friends of friends) who work at Google. By increasing your network of Google employees, you see their news feeds, discover more Google employees, and start to communicate with them. This allows you to both build your network around target companies, but also see their conversations and interests - so you have something to say other than “I’m stalking you because i want a job at Google.”
See my full review of BranchOut at http://recareered.blogspot.com/2010/07/branchout-facebook-plus-linkedin.html
Will you use Find Your Friends, OpenNetworker, and BranchOut to help your job search networking efforts?
Please comment to share your experiences and what works well (and not so well) for you on Facebook.
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