So you’re on Facebook. Now what?

Published April 01, 2009   permalink

As more people join Facebook, the question inevitably arises: "How do I tell the world who I am?" The issue isn't unique to Facebook either -- you could just as easily substitute MySpace, LinkedIn, Orkut or Twitter (although to a lesser extent, as you'll learn in a minute) and then take a step back and ask yourself the same question.

The bottom line is this: If joining social networks is "Step 1" then creating indexable content is "Step 2." Take Facebook as an example. It's a lot like 'Vegas: What happens on Facebook...pretty much stays on Facebook (the very new published status updates excepted.) As long as you and all of your friends and colleagues are on Facebook, and provided that you're all connected...your experiences, stories, and shared content flow freely. That's a great thing, at least as far as Facebook is concerned.

But what about you? What if you are trying to build a larger social presence for yourself, perhaps for professional visibility? More to the point, what if you want people to be able to find you via Google? Not only is most of the content on Facebook highly temporal (meaning, it's of relatively little value a year from now) it's not generally discoverable outside of Facebook. Social networks tell people who you are...but do not necessarily help them find you outside of that particular network.

The key to building a strong presence is creating a complete body of work that captures your thoughts, ideas, interests...and placing into a medium that is open and visible to search engines. Your blog is the perfect candidate. Twitter--which, as a "microblog" is similarly discoverable--helps here too. In effect, your blog posts (along with your Tweets) form the basis of your search friendly content that leads people to your social profiles, where they can learn that much more about you.

Check out Part III of "Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day" along with my column at ClickZ and see how the social channels fit together. Devise a holistic strategy for yourself, and build your own social presence. Not only is this a great way to gain proficiency in the proper techniques of social media based marketing but you'll quickly find yourself gaining visibility as well.

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