Facebook is the Hub for Your Personal Brand

As I’ve written in the past, Facebook is the most legitimate and productive social network for business professionals on the Web today. Not only does it connect people with other contacts, but it also, either intentionally or unintentionally, evolved into a powerful platform for aggregating all online activity to showcase a professionally wrapped package of expertise, personality, networks, and experience.

Facebook Profile

But Facebook is much more than a social network. Its infrastructure facilitates profile and presence aggregation, channeling all online activity through one main hub. Simply said, it becomes a repository for every social media product, which ultimately transitions from a static profile into a dynamic destination for your personal and professional brand.

And, with lifestreams and data streams creating additional channels to broadcast social activity, Facebook also further contributes to the “river of relevance” by allowing people to create a visually-rich, centralized dashboard that also helps to tell your story and spark conversations.

With social tools adapting their services to Facebook through the use of widgets , we can easily share a wealth of integrated activity including twitter, Jaiku, and Pownce for microblogging, RSS readers for sharing relevant stories, flickr for sharing pictures, “video” or kyte for adding live or packaged video, upcoming.org for sharing events, and the list goes on and on.

Facebook Applications

It’s not just about collecting and arranging important streams however. It also represents how you interact and participate within the community itself. The mini-feed on each profile or the main “home” is the pulse of Facebook (no pun intended Plaxo.) It is also a river of relevance that displays invaluable insight, giving you tdirect access into the most important conversations and activities taking place in and out of Facebook. It also is your opportunity to shine the spotlight on your own activities, which demonstrate how you participate – keeping in mind that participation is also marketing.

Facebook mini-feed

Facebook main feed

Facebook

Now with Facebook’s recent announcement that it will be integrating profiles into search engine results, its value as an online hub for showcasing a cohesive online brand is will skyrocket.

Here’s what you need to know:

“In a few weeks, we will allow these Public Search listings (depending on users’ individual privacy settings) to be found by search engines like Google, MSN Live, Yahoo, etc. We think this will help more people connect and find value from Facebook without exposing any actual profile information or data.”

Imagine that someone is “googling” you and that your Facebook is one of the top results. A well written and strategically populated “public” profile could be the one-stop page that represents who you are and why you matter to your peers and prospects.

How will you tell your story?

What is the brand you want to portray?

Whether you know it or not, your profile, your feed, the groups you belong to, the events you attend and the friends you share say everything about you.

What all of this nets down to is that Facebook, now more than ever, is becoming a powerful platform, showcase, and scale for your social capital, inside and outside the network.

Fore more about Facebook and its opportunities in the business world, attend Dave McClure’s upcoming conference Graphing Social Patterns: The Business and Technology of Facebook

Related stories:
Facebook “costs businesses dear”
Facebook now ranked third in pageviews, Myspace down 20%

Connect on Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce or Facebook.

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  • Jane Quigley

    Brian – great write up. A number of web-strategists have been talking about the “Personal Brand” and it’s made me look at how consistent I am with my web-presence. And I started my revamp with Facebook.

    Facebook is the aggregate of my social media strategy (thanks, Chris Brogan!) and through it I’ve increased my network, raised my profile and added value to my company. All of which will grow as Facebook adds more services, metrics, etc.

  • Ann Handley

    Absolutely, Brian… well put. “River of relevance” is an excellent phrase, isn’t it?

    Facebook for is an aggregator for all of my own online actions, as well as a window into the online communities I’m part of, and how I weave in and out and connect with them. Or not.

    Powerful platform indeed.

  • mark

    Brian–Nice piece, and well written; I particularly like the personal branding angle. I believe that FB is a powerful platform that could go far beyond what we’ve seen to date.

  • Brian Solis

    Hi Jane, thank you! Chris Brogan is a very smart man. I think your profile is a great example of creating a strong online brand…at the end of the day, social media is fueling the new wave of social capital.

    Ann, I definitely think it’s about relevance…although, good friend Jeremy Toeman called it a river of “ir”relevance ;)

    Mark, I agree. This is just the beginning. The shift will reveal more powerful opportunities that we may see with Facebook and other emerging networks.

  • francine

    Club E Network, an entrepreneurship network for student entrepreneurs with which I am involved is already trying to figure out how to duplicate some of the functionality of Facebook for its own site, because the students love the idea of a feed for friends’ news. Club E will probably become too big for a Facebook group, but I keep saying it should start out that way.

  • onlineprguy

    Brian, your posts validate my position that Facebook is a great social tool for corporations to adopt:

    It’s not just the Linkedin for kids, as so many in the corporate (and even agency) world seem to think.

  • Michael Markman

    Excellent post. On the other hand, I have friends who are reluctant to participate on FB cause it creeps out their kids.

  • Ann Handley

    LOL Michael…my teenage son is on FB, too, and I consciously avoid him or his networks there. Sometimes it feels like we are at the same party, pretending we don’t know each other!

  • Mark

    good post, but do you practice what you preach? (I…..use my Facebook profile page as my site at http://MarkMayhew.com )!

  • Ronna

    Hi Brian. I couldn’t agree more. The ability to set up niche groups also helps to manage ‘multiple personalities.’ For example, I have a prioritory interest in my audio branding consultancy, Sound Strategies, am building a non-prioritory group called brands2music (please join!), plus I have a whole raft of business and personal interests, including social media. While it is nice to mix it up, sometimes its good to keep things separate! Ronna

  • Vik

    totally agree… I’m amazed at how fused our personal & professional lives have begun: Our phone number cross over (with the cell phone) and now our web presence too (with the likes of facebook, and our blogs even).

    you can google facebook accounts already, btw… and soon facebook will allow people to stay anonymous.

    Parents are hip to MySpace, but not yet to Facebook… they should warn their underage kids to stay private.

    But for those of us on our personal brand soapbox, Facebook and our own blogs are great cross-references!

    ~ Vikram
    PersonalBrandMarketing.com

  • Brian Solis

    Mark, thanks. Of course I practice what I preach, that’s how I came up with the inspiration for the article. ;)

    Hi Ronna, excellent. That’s exactly right. I’ll stop by and take a look.

    Vik, well said. And, this is still only the beginning.

  • Brian Solis

    Francine, I agree with you on the Club E Network. That’s awesome.

    onlineprguy, yes. I’m of the same belief. I don’t think Linkedin is even in the same conversation any longer…

    michael markman, ann handley that’s funny! Ann, who has more friends though, you or our son? :)

  • Ann Handley

    Brian… ME.

    Plus, half of his will be fat in 20 years. Mine already are… lol.

  • Steve

    Nice piece, Brian.
    Adds a lot of sensible wrap around the Facebook fluff that we’re seeing a lot of.

  • ScrewedByFB

    but….be warned about depending on Facebook. FB deleted my account, with no explanation/warning, and it took me a week of contacting their Customer support. I never did get an explanation “why” my account was deleted, just a “sorry for any inconvience” type email.

    If anyone knows how to contact FB, please let me know, I’ve found it be nearly impossible (imagine the irony of that?!).

    http://Mark Mayhew.com

  • Don Hill

    Without a doubt, personal branding is no longer an option for the serious professional – it’s a necessity! While social networks have become important components in propagating your personal brand, the fact remains that the search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask.com, About.com, etc) are still used by the vast majority of people to locate information about other people.

    The process of attaining top-of-first-page ranking for your name on search engines can be arduous, requiring considerable posting and cross-linking of pertinent information in your field that demonstrates your expertise, to achieve the “organic” rankings sufficient to get you close enough to the first page to be found, if not on the first results page itself.

    Of course, you could always place pay-per-click bids on your name with the search engines to ensure exposure at the very top of the rankings, but if you have a common name you may have to bid on more of a “long tail” phrase including your name to achieve the ranking that will give you the results you desire. Otherwise you will be “eaten alive” by clicks from people looking for others with the same name.

    I’ve come across an alternative, which permits you to put forth your qualifications, contact information, and informative bulletins – all the while giving you a guaranteed placement on the major search engines I mentioned – on their very first page.

    As a practical demonstration, please Google my name – Don Hill.

    This solution integrates perfectly with your existing branding strategy, allowing you to have top search-engine prominence, and building back-links to your other Web 2.0 branding sites to further increase their organic rankings.

    One caveat, however, concerning the social networks. Due to the attempts of less-reputable “marketers,” many of them prohibit communications of a “commercial” nature within their community. The definition of “commercial” may be very arbitrary and vague, left to the discretion of some faceless overseer in a dimly-lit cubicle who has lost their sense of reality. (One possible explanation for screwedbyfb’s plight!)

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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