The Power of a Purposeful Hashtag: #WorkTrends

If we’ve learned anything over the past decade, it is the power of a hashtag…

#WorkTrends has been on quite an adventure. Over the past 10 years, TalentCulture’s signature podcast has introduced us to great minds in the HR space. We’ve produced over 700 episodes — packed with insights, future-casting and anticipated trends.

We’ve had an incredible range of guests on #WorkTrends, from CEOs to technologists to practitioners, psychologists, data mavens and more. They’ve given us unparalleled perspectives and wisdom on so many subjects — leadership, recruiting, management, recognition, strategizing, coping, thriving. How, where, when, and even why we work is ever-expanding — and we’re proud to say our savvy guests predicted every pivot, and every moment. 

In our episodes and in our Twitter chats, we’ve heard some groundbreakers I’ll never forget. Listing the many names would take pages and pages, so to all our guests so far I’ll just say this: Thank you for gracing the #WorkTrends stage with your presence and your brilliance. 

And now it’s time to expand these amazing discussions… it is time to release them into the world.

The Power of Change

Even before the massive changes of 2020, TalentCulture was planning our own set of changes: a new website, an expanded community, and a new way to bring #WorkTrends to our growing audience. We recognized that in today’s business world, we’re connecting across digital space more than ever before. And we realized there isn’t a better time than now to broaden our discussions. 

So we’re inviting everyone to join the #WorkTrends conversation beyond Twitter — and across more social media channels. We’re taking #WorkTrends to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and beyond. Of course, you’ll find the same dynamic conversations about key work topics and all the issues that matter. Instead of exclusively through a weekly Twitter chat, though, #WorkTrends will be an ongoing discussion.

We believe the world of work is limitless: it’s a wellspring of energy and engagement. And to honor that, we’re opening the gates. 

The Power of a Purposeful Hashtag

#WorkTrends is now a legacy hashtag. It’s become a classic that represents all the best minds and conversations. We’re excited to watch it grow wings — and move across time zones, borders, and barriers. So please join us. It’s going to be another wonderful adventure!

Be sure to tune into our weekly #WorkTrends podcasts and recaps. And to learn even more about how we’re growing the podcast, check out our WorkTrends FAQ page.

As always, thanks so much for tuning in and being a member of this amazing community. You #inspire me — every day!  

Why Deleting Your Facebook History Might Be a Good Idea

If you’re like me and about 1.79 billion of my closest friends, you have a Facebook account—yes, that’s billion (with a b), and growing. In fact, it’s a 16 percent increase from the 2015 figure, according to Facebook’s 2016 Q3 Earnings Report. Of those 1.79 billion, 1.18 billion log into Facebook daily, and 1.09 billion do so on a mobile device. That’s a lot of numbers, so let me put it to you another way: Facebook is big. It’s so big, in fact, that Facebook’s community of users now tops the population of China. Seriously. That’s big.

And we, Facebook are nothing if not loyal. We produce a mind-boggling amount of data every day, everything from posted photos, shared videos, likes, shares, status updates, ads, you name it, the list goes on. Think about it, though—how much of what you post on the social media giant is really worth keeping? From the cringe-worthy to the downright mundane, we’ve all got some skeletons in our Facebook closets that are skulking around in the depths of our activity logs. What’s the point of keeping it all, anyway, and contributing to the data overload? What value is there in a comment made when you lost your mind during the election season, or a curse-filled rant, or even a check-in at a local hangout last New Year’s Eve? Have you noticed, with the social giant’s “memories” function, that when re-read at a later date, many of your interactions and/or posts from a few years back are simply un-shareable today, that they lack the context that made them important “in the moment?” I have. They’ve just become snippets of noise in the already deafeningly full cyberspace junkyard.

The Facebook’s greatest value (from a company standpoint) is the data it has about you. If you control—and regularly purge—said data, Facebook has less control, so it just may be time to take back the reins when it comes to your own Facebook data. Job seekers, I’m looking at you. But that’s fodder for another post. It’s your data, after all—you giveth, and you can taketh away. So, what do you say? Wanna clean that mess up? Here’s how to get started.

How Far Are You Willing to Go?

If you’ve decided cleaning up your Facebook history is a worthwhile cause—and you’ve got to take it to that level of commitment, because it can be a time-consuming task—you’ll first need to determine what to dump. Are you going to go all out, deleting years’ worth of actions at once? Or, are you going to pick and choose what to keep and what to get rid of? Option one will be the quicker of the two approaches, and will definitely pack the biggest punch. Like tearing away a bandage, it’s fast, and it’ll only sting a little. Option two gives you more options, of course, but sifting through years’ worth of activity is a chore. If you’ve got a business page or any other special considerations for keeping around particular pieces of data while still purging the rest, however, it can be a good compromise.

Either route you choose, you’ll want to save a copy of your history just in case. To do this, complete the following steps:

Step 1. Log into Facebook and click on the down arrow at the top right of your screen.

Step 2. Click Settings.

Step 3. At the very bottom of the page, click Download a copy of your Facebook data.

Step 4. Facebook will send you the link to download a zipped file package containing everything you’ve ever posted.

Step 5. Enjoy your peace of mind and begin deleting.

Now, Commence Operation Purge

There are a few ways to accomplish most tasks these days—you can do them manually, you can automate them, or, if you’re particularly tech savvy, you can start fresh to find new solutions. Deleting your Facebook data is no different.

Manual Deletion. You can certainly try to go the old-fashioned route and delete everything manually. Simply navigate to your profile and find the Activity Log at the top. That will recount everything you’ve ever done on Facebook, and you’ll see that each item has a pencil icon next to it. Clicking the pencil will allow you to delete, unlike, etc.

Now, Facebook went public to all non-students in 2006. If you’ve been active since for that many years, you’re probably not going to want to start hunting and pecking through it all, manually deleting everything—unless you have a really long layover or uncomfortable family gathering coming up and need the distraction, that is.

Automated Deletion. According to a recent Business Insider piece, there are two primary options for automated deletionFacebook Timeline Cleaner and Facebook Post Manager. While the scripts do have merit, Facebook is constantly changing code, making it difficult for the developers to keep up. Waiting for an updated version could take time on the front end, but it could also save you time in the long run if you can run the program. Perusing the message boards tells me many have not had luck, while others have broken through. At present, though, they appear to be hit or miss.

The good news? There’s another way.

Start Fresh. If you truly want to get rid of that pesky Facebook data and don’t have any qualms about deleting your account, this option is for you. Simply message your friends and contacts you want to keep, telling them that you’re making a new account and deleting your current one. Then, start over. This time, make sure you go through and delete your data from your activity log on a regular basis so as not to encounter this problem in the future.

Did any of the above suggestions strike a chord with you? On a higher level, how do you feel about your relationship with The Facebook—or social media in general? What purpose does it serve for you, your business, or even your career? Do you think purging your past data is worth your time, or is it far down on your priority list? It’s not a priority for me, but I can see how it would be for many.

Additional Resources on this Topic:

How to Delete all of the Search Data Facebook Keeps on You
Social Media: Why We Share Things Online
How to Permanently Delete Your Facebook Account

A version of this was first posted on

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How Facebook Is Recruiting Exceptional Talent Today

Facebook, the largest social network with 1.55 billion monthly active users, is consistently one of the top employers in America. Don’t you wonder how a company with nearly 13,000 employees and 49 offices around the world manage to lure top talent year after year? Let’s examine Facebook’s magnetic appeal and see how we can all learn from it to recruit exceptional talent.

Facebook Recruitment Relies on Fit, Unique Tactics, and the Ability to Change

Fit comes first at Facebook; if you don’t share common values that drive the rest of the team, it probably won’t work out. “We want to make sure that we approach recruiting in the same way that we approach the design of the product and the services that we deliver to the world,” said Miranda Kalinow-ski, Facebook’s head of global recruiting, in an interview with in an interview with Business Insider. “And that’s with the focus on connection. We want to connect to our candidates in the recruiting or inter-viewing process pretty deeply.” This means everyone from engineers to accountants should be driven to make an impact that will help connect the more than 5 billion people who aren’t using Facebook yet.

But the fit is just the beginning: Talent, diversity, and a strategic screening process are also critical. Re-cruiting company Recruiting company ERE dissected some of Facebook’s recruiting methods and identi-fied the most important aspects of their HR philosophy.

  • Facebook sees employees as vital corporate assets. The company understands the value of its workers; they put a dollar value on employee assets to make calculated risks with recruiting and retention practices. Recognizing the actual value of employees makes it easier to prioritize their growth and success, instead of keeping a narrow focus on the end product.

The company commits serious time and effort to the recruitment process. It has some of the most unusual and innovative approaches to attracting new staff. Facebook:

  • Acquires businesses for their human capital. Some companies buy small enterprises for their customer base or product; Facebook pays close attention to existing talent within the firm. This lets them acquire an entire team that already works well together instead of piecing together something new.
  • Has flexible but specific acceptance standards. Applicants don’t need to demonstrate formal education to get a job, but they do need to have the skills, commitment, and drive to make things happen. Evan Priestley didn’t finish high school, but he landed a job with Facebook by devising an innovative solution to a Facebook puzzler posted to Red-dit.
  • Uses internal resources to attract recruits. CEO Mark Zuckerberg acts as the chief re-cruiter, speaking in schools and other public forums to get attention and raise Face-book’s profile. The company also puts a high value on employee referrals, using “Ninja Hunts” to identify engineers who would fit well.
  • Stages onboarding as a six-week boot camp. It may seem intense, but boot camp lets recruits get their feet wet before they settle into a particular department or specialization. At the end of the six weeks, each person identifies the team and project they’d like to join. This flexible onboarding process helps every new employee move into an area where they’re most likely to thrive.
  • Provides employees with exceptional HR benefits and perks. Facebook is well known for its out-standing benefits, including free, high-quality food and unlimited sick days. Happy hours and other campus perks encourage communication and collaboration. Employees socialize and work in the same environment—a mix carefully calculated to inspire new and innovative ideas.
  • Embraces constant change.. The tech industry changes rapidly, and Facebook understands that to stay relevant; it needs to be ready. The company values people who take risks; rather than worry about mistakes, it’s more afraid to miss an opportunity.

Recruit Exceptional Talent in 2016

You can use Facebook’s recruiting wizardry as inspiration to make meaningful changes; to improve em-ployee engagement and satisfaction as well as your ability to meet strategic business goals. How? Try this:

  1. Think of recruitment as akin to product marketing. Smashfly, a recruitment marketing platform vendor, is built around a concept it calls “recruitment marketing“—the idea that finding the right candidate is a very similar process to acquiring ideal customers. If you market your compa-ny to the talent you want, using the same channels they use, you can more effectively reach and attract the right people. Use brand advocates as part of your efforts; they’re an effective way to leverage employee networks, humanize your brand, and provide insight into company culture. Recruitment marketing doesn’t replace recruiting; it enhances the process.
  2. Be creative but true to your company’s core. Facebook understands the core traits and values that drive its success, but every company is different. In Australia, Ikea included hidden career instructions inside product packaging. Google used a mysterious billboard to bring intrigued en-gineers to their door. If it engages candidates and aligns with your recruitment goals, it can help improve talent acquisition.
  3. Never stop looking. Some businesses pick up the pace of recruitment as a reaction to business needs or employee turnover. But this is another way recruitment is like product marketing: If you only make an effort when you need quick results, you’re too late. Always be on the lookout for qualified candidates, and nurture a recruitment strategy that maintains a constant drip of ac-tivity and engagement.

Facebook wins at employee recruiting. Companies can’t all be like Facebook—and don’t need to be. Look for recruiting ideas that make sense within your organizational framework, and don’t be afraid to learn from a few mistakes along the way.

Smashfly is a TalentCulture client but the views expressed in this post are my own.

A version of this was first posted on Huffington Post.

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Facebook: When Trust Is Exploited

In 2014, Facebook came under fire after a study was published revealing that the social network was doing research on some users that use its platform. It was not only ugly the way in which Facebook conducted the research, but the assumptions the researchers made about the average user’s willingness to be emotionally manipulated were chilling.

In the study, “Experimental Evidence Of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks”, researchers Adam Kramer, Jamie Guillory and Jeffrey Hancock manipulated the news feeds of nearly 700,000 Facebook users. The goal was to see if manipulating news feeds could lead to what the researchers termed “emotional contagion.” Spoiler alert: the answer is yes.

The trust issues here are huge and point to the importance for all of us, all the time, to read those pesky Service and Data Use Policies so many web services throw on the screen with an “I read and accept the terms of this agreement” button on the first page of what is clearly going to be a lengthy document.

From a workplace perspective the issue is equally fraught. It’s standard policy now for employers to make employment contingent upon the candidate signing a variety of documents, including intellectual property assignments, social-media use agreements and non-compete agreements. There’s very little trust in the work world. Nevertheless, it is essential for employers to establish a work community where trust is a guiding principle and a shared responsibility.

One area where trust between employers and employees has visibly frayed is in the use of personal electronic devices cell phones, laptops and tablets, among other gadgets used in the workplace. For a small company it may not be a problem but many large, public and financial services companies either don’t allow employees to bring their own devices or make employees sign agreements to put security software on the device, agree to certain patterns of use and allow the company not to monitor employee data and wipe the device. A survey by Harris Interactive (sponsored by Webroot) had a number of interesting findings about the “bring your own device” policy, and its affects on trust. Three data points from the press release announcing the survey results are worthy of repeating, the first two from an employee point of view and the third from an employer’s perspective (these are taken verbatim from the release):

Nearly half say they would stop using their device(s) for work altogether if corporate policy required that they install a security app on personal devices used for work purposes

Employers being able to access employees’ personal data emerged as the top worry, with a majority describing themselves as either extremely concerned or very concerned about this

73 percent agree that employees should have some influence on software or security installed on personal devices used for work. The report is interesting, as is the infographic, and well worth a look.

I’ve argued here that trust is essential, and also a key component of influence. Others maintain that influence is unnecessary if there is a strong foundation of trust. I’m not convinced. In my work with employees, candidates and employers, I see trust and influence as having a reciprocal and constantly evolving relationship. Thus it is critical for employers to treat their employees as trusted partners in the enterprise. And it is critical for employees to be trustworthy and ethical, to maintain the employer’s trust.

On a practical level this is tremendously difficult. Businesses are not always trustworthy or ethical (Enron anyone?), nor are individual employees (um, Edward Snowden?). Trust is, then, a work in progress, something that requires a daily investment from all parties. How do you forge that link? By building a workplace culture that insists on, and rewards, trust. Can this be done with social media tools? Maybe.

Many workplaces don’t have a real-time “feed” of news and sentiment from all employees. Some may use wikis, blogs or enterprise software apps such as Yammer. Even those enterprises with robust Intranets, wikis and Yammer may not have the social listening skills necessary to watch the flow of information and interpret it correctly without violating the trust or misinterpreting the intent of the participants. One friend, for example, worked for a large multi-national company that used Yammer in an attempt to build a culture of trust and communication. But the company had proved itself untrustworthy in other ways, and few participated.

Trust can be breached early, often and sometimes both. Once the break happens it’s difficult to fix. So I’d argue don’t turn to social-media tools first to build trust in the workplace. Begin by building relationships, insisting on authenticity and acting quickly to head off conflicts that can erode trust.

As a leader in your company, let your employees know you trust them by giving them responsibility. This is the cornerstone of a culture of trust. And if you are an employee, work everyday to honor that commitment to you and earn trust anew. If you are fortunate enough to work within a workplace culture of trust, do everything possible to build on that foundation.

A version of this post was first published on on July 3, 2014

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7 Ways Candidates Blow A Phone Interview

I’m consistently amazed by how unaware the average job seeker is of how to establish a positive first impression on a phone interview. I hear the same frustrated complaints from employers of all industries and sizes – that candidates who voluntarily submitted their resumes in hopes of discussing a position they’re supposedly interested in just can’t seem to get it together. Remember when all you needed was a solid resume to be guaranteed a face-to-face interview? For the sake of saving time, resources, and money, recruiters have become much more selective on who they decide to meet in person. In an effort to weed out time-wasters and soft-skill-deficient candidates, recruiters are conducting phone screens to find out who’s off their game.

1. They’re unprepared to take the call.
If you’re 4 beers deep at a Yankees game or trying to wrestle a dirty diaper off a screaming baby, you probably shouldn’t answer a call you don’t recognize. Yet, most of the candidates my recruiting team speaks with are under the impression that it’s better to answer a call you’re not completely prepared for than to miss the call altogether. It’s not. If you find yourself in a situation that isn’t suitable for a professional conversation, don’t pick up. Instead, call back within 24 hours, after you’ve collected your thoughts, can speak confidently, and have locked down a quiet location.

Not to mention, they start timing you from the second they leave a voicemail, which brings me to my next point. If you’re actively looking, you should have a professional voicemail with specific instructions to avoid an unwanted game of phone tag. For example, “Hi, you’ve reached Mark Smith. If you’re calling in regards to my resume, please leave your name and number as well as the best times for me to reach you.”

2. They expect the recruiter to fill in the blanks.
“Hi, what job did I apply for again? What company are you calling on behalf of?” It pains me to admit this, but these responses are the norm when an employer reaches out to a candidate, even for high-level positions. You’re a job seeker, which means you probably apply to several jobs each week. We understand that it’s tough to keep track, but it’s essential – if only for the sake of a recruiter’s sanity – that you start taking notes. Just by picking up the phone and saying, “Hi Wendy, you must be calling in regards to the Customer Service position I applied for last week.” Mind blown.

3. They conduct an unorganized job search.
This goes hand in hand with my last point. Today, it’s not enough to print out a handful of resumes and call it a day. We always recommend that our candidates keep a spreadsheet of every job application they submitted with corresponding dates, company names, and relevant contacts. Or, if you’re a tech wiz, try these awesome job search apps. That way, when the phone rings, you’ll have a handy guide that’ll save you from playing guessing games. Also, it’s important to keep your background information and portfolios within arms reach to provide some quick material for preliminary questions. It says a great deal about your personal brand if you’re prepared to answer a challenging question, and even have some on-hand stats to back up your argument. And for bonus points, don’t forget to browse company websites and connect with HR personnel on LinkedIn. Taking that extra step makes a huge impression.

4. They don’t understand why recruiters really call.
More often than not, recruiters aren’t calling to simply schedule a personal interview; they’re calling to conduct a prescreen. In other words, to decide whether they want to move you forward. Remember all that research you were supposed to do when you applied for the gig? Use it to show recruiters you know something about how their company culture works and that you’re serious about the job.

5. They have a bad “radio personality.”
Phones are tough – all you have to make an impression is your voice. Candidates, especially introverts, often fail to heighten their energy over the phone. Nobody’s expecting you to sound like Ron Burgundy, but you should at the very least sound excited, confident, and prepared. Excessive “umms,” stammering, or sounding like you’re dead inside are huge turnoffs to recruiters. The only way to overcome this obstacle is through practice. Record yourself on any device you have handy, and ask yourself this difficult question: “Would you hire you?” Getting your career narrative down in a way that engages and connects with an employer is essential to winning that face-to-face meeting.

6. They have a weak or unprofessional online presence.
Chances are, if recruiters are interested in what you have to say, they’ll be googling you before then end of your conversation. A half-complete LinkedIn profile or a racy Facebook picture is all it takes to eliminate you from the game. Just last week, one of my recruiters found a candidate with a stellar background and scheduled her for an interview right away. But just minutes before their call, she discovered an R-rated photo online that involved a stripper pole. Needless to say, the recruiter’s mind was made up before the conversation started.

7. They fail to treat a phone interview with the same decorum as they would a personal one.
Just because you didn’t put on a suit or block out time in your day doesn’t mean it counts any less towards your chances of securing the job. Request follow up procedures, send personalized thank you notes, and be sure to highlight any takeaways to reinforce your sincerity. Take it from me, the small things really do matter.

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Take Your Leadership To “Like” Button Speed

On the inside of every leader lies a sleeping superhero-like quality to lead those of Generation Y.

What is this quality, you may be wondering?

It’s the ability to save time while continuing to exceed productivity across an entire team. Now, this quality; the dynamic super power, is not out of reach. It’s available to all who are brave enough to go after it.

In this microwave culture where one won’t wait 3 seconds for a webpage to load before moving on to something else, it’s no wonder Millennials (those of Generation Y; born in the 80s and 90s) constantly seek instant gratification. They were born into this digital environment. They’ll post a video and anxiously await the viewing numbers to start climbing. They expect photos to receive likes immediately, and the speed of tweets and retweets… well, things move fast.

Social media has created a pseudo-realistic medium; one in which Millennials are able to receive feedback as soon as they post something!

This creates unrealistic expectations when they get to work. There’s no way the real world would be able to keep interactions at the same speed as the social media universe. Or, is there?

Those from the baby boomer generation are happy when leaders aren’t engaging with them. They know the lack of conversation means everything is going well. Millennials; however, would fall apart if they were not receiving constant feedback from those in leadership positions. They would assume they’re not making the cut. Neither view is right or wrong. They’re just different.

When I first started sharing this information about instant, consistent feedback with my live audiences, the first thing I’d hear was:  “Ryan, I don’t have time to pat every Millennial on the back every day.” I understand that. Though, I don’t believe people are limited by time, I think they’re limited by their traditional approach.

Traditional minds would tell us that feedback is only needed for quarterly reviews. I must warn you. If you continue to give in to this traditional way of thinking the turnover rate of Millennials will make you wish you had chosen otherwise. Nothing will get your Generation Y employees hustling harder than quick direction and immediate correction. Your feedback doesn’t have to be lengthy. It just has to be on time. Picture it this way: your feedback can happen as quickly as it takes to press the “like” thumbs up on a Facebook post.

Instant feedback doesn’t require complex thinking. It can be as simple as: “Hey Ryan, you did a great job on XYZ. Your attention to detail adds value and clients like that. Keep it up!” You’ve just stroked my ego. It took mere seconds and those words motivated me to focus and work even harder. To say those few sentences, you don’t even have to stop walking. You can say it as you’re passing by a desk. A little appreciation goes a long way.

I’ll share a real example of leadership at the speed of clicking the “like” button.

One time, an audience member shared his best practice for providing Millennials with the instant, consistent feedback they need. He told me, at the end of work day as he sat in his car before making the drive home, he would text his team of Millennials, sending positive direction and correction. He also shared his surprise to find that those team members would do work later in the evening after they received his text message.

Talk about saving time by spending a little time! As a leader today, you do have a choice. You can throw a tantrum about Generation Y’s need for instant, consistent feedback, or you can meet their desire by making a few little changes. By adjusting, you’ll be creating a more productive team and you’ll be viewed as a leader who cares.

What forms of feedback prompt you to respond the most?

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Facebook: Filling The Word “Friend” With Value Again!

Let’s take back the word “friend” and fill it with value again! Why? Well.. It seems to me that Facebook has done an amazing thing – they now own the word “friend”.  The problem is that they have devalued the word while adding value to their brand.

How many of you use “air quotes” when you say so-and-so is your Facebook “friend”?  That’s exactly my point.  The word now, more often than not, just means that you exchanged a keystroke with someone.

I’m not suggesting that connecting through Facebook is a bad thing; I’m saying that few of us actually take the time to connect in the ways that a real friend would.  We are missing the chance to use social media as a tool that facilitates real relationships and instead using “friends” as points in a popularity contest.

How Can We Counter The Facebook Takeover of The Word ‘Friend’? 

Let’s start with breaking completely out of our online world for a moment and do something really cutting edge: pick up the TELEPHONE and CALL someone.  Make someone feel special by connecting voice to voice with them and having a real-time conversation.

Then take everything you know about face-to-face relationships and bring them back with you online:

1. A friend is not just an audience. 

Friendship is not a one-way information push; it is a two-way interaction loop. Ask questions, listen to and HEAR the answers, ask more questions.  It takes ongoing interaction to get a clear path through the digital noise out there!

2. A friend is not just a number.

Think about how many times you hear television ads that end with “to us, you are not just a number, you’re a person” (except for SleepNumber Mattresses, who play with that and say “to us, you’re not just a person, you’re a number!”).  The point is to remember that each interaction involves a real person.  Yes, I do have over 2800 Facebook friends, but I do pay attention and respond to all comments and postings on my walls and photos.  Does it take time?  It sure does, but all real relationships take time, so I would expect nothing less!

3. A friend has shared interests.

Friends connect around shared interests, which attract additional friendships that turn into communities of interest.  YOU are the hub of your personal social media “community of interest,” so consider it your responsibility to provide content relevant to your friends interests.  Hint: if you are authentic in your online and offline “profiles,” what you are naturally inclined to share will automatically be of interest to your friends.  Save yourself some effort and just be genuine from the beginning!

4. Friendships require maintenance.

We are all calling these tools “social media,” yet we are becoming LESS social!  Facebook status updates do not count as a relationship.  Back and forth conversation ABOUT your status update, however, is a much more social interaction.  But don’t let it end there.  Take the initiative to reach out and GIVE value rather than expecting everyone to come to you…remember, friendship requires an ongoing flow of giving and receiving.

5. Do unto others…

The way you engage with people makes an impression no matter what tool you are using.  Look at your own behaviors and ask yourself, “Would I want to be my friend??”  Are you noticing and affirming the value of individuals and groups in your network? Are you genuinely interested and paying attention to the people behind the texts and words on a screen?  Are you going out of your way to be of service to others in your network?  That’s the kind of friend I would want to have and to be.

A real friend is not just a number and a photo on the screen.  Remember that next time you’re on Facebook (or Twitter or Google+ or blogging or ANYtime!) and do what it takes to be a friend.  One by one, we can take back the word “friend”!

‎”Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.” ~Anais Nin

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How to Build Your Network Without Burning Out

(Editor’s Note: All of us in the TalentCulture community mourn the loss of our dear friend, brilliant colleague and mindful mentor, Judy Martin, who passed away unexpectedly on January 31, 2014. The following is the last post she contributed to our blog, only 10 days earlier. Her message and her life are a lesson for us all.)

The unthinkable happened during the first week in January.

TalentCulture CEO Meghan M. Biro had gone missing. She hadn’t returned a tweet from me for more than three days. Unheard of, I tell you.

Naturally, I was concerned about her well-being. I actually considered contacting Boston area hospitals. But instead, I did what any good friend would do. Resorting to an antiquated strategy, I picked up the phone and called her.

“Seriously Judy, I’m taking a break. I don’t want to burn out,” Meghan told me.

“What? A break from your BFF?” I almost blurted. Then, a calm washed over me, and instead I said, “Good for you.”

This sparked a conversation about how busy professionals like us can continue growing and navigating our social networks without compromising our stress levels. Connection and communication have taken on new importance in today’s 24/7 world of work. Those who manage the energy and minimize the stress are able to stay ahead of the competition, and sustain high performance. But it’s not easy.

Everyone manages a social network differently. It’s an intimate and personal process. We all have close connections with whom we can exchange ideas and openly vent. That’s typically not a burden on our time and attention. But in this era of digital exuberance, our social circles are growing rapidly. We need to find the signal in our niche, while filtering out the noise of a much broader network. Keeping pace requires a strategy:

8 Tips to Reduce Stress In The Face of Digital Exuberance

1) Schedule Social Sessions: Timing is everything. And quality time counts. When does your network naturally buzz with activity? If you’re a rock star, you might be inclined to check Twitter in the late evening, but if you’re into talent management and business news like me, you’re probably trolling Twitter from 7-8 a.m. Instead of trying to pay attention 24/7, pick one or two intervals each a day to dip into the stream. Don’t just “fly by” with retweets — really dive in and engage in conversations that build relationships. But when your scheduled time is up, move on. Eventually, you’ll adjust to an established rhythm, and so will those in your inner circles.

2) Take Breathing Breaks: Twitter and Facebook interactions can become surprisingly intense. Periodically, take 5 minutes to literally sit back and just follow your breath. Close your eyes, or look away from the screen. Simply being aware of how you are breathing helps regulate cortisol, the “stress-producing” hormone. Count as you inhale – one, two, three. Then hold your breath for several seconds, and exhale to the count of three. Better managing stress “in the moment” gives you more energy later, when you may need to tap into your reserves.

3) Stand Up and Stretch: Once in a while just walk away. Yes, leave the computer behind. This is important to get blood circulating in your body, which delivers more oxygen to your brain. If you prefer not to stand, push your chair away from the desk. Inhale and raise your arms above your head, clasping your hands in a “steeple” position. Look up and gaze at your hands for several moments. Then exhale slowly while your hands float gradually back down to your sides. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to shift back into business gear.

4) Hum with Purpose: That’s right — make noise. Humming actually calms the mind and body. It’s an ancient yogic technique that helps focus attention prior to meditation. The sound reverberates in your skull, and helps your brain rewire your attention. Here’s how: Plug your ears with your fingers and inhale deeply. Pause. Then as you exhale, hum for the reminder of the “out breath.” Repeat two more times. If you feel dizzy, stop. But ideally, it will help release tension and help you focus.

5) Let Filtering Tools Work for You: Sometimes we need to look beyond human behavior for help. If we opened every link that came our way we’d never sleep. Aggregation tools help consolidate and organize the chaos — news sources, blog posts, and other information sources of interest. I’ve set up Google alerts to deliver breaking news on keywords that matter most to me. For less critical topics, I receive news feeds once a week. You can use Hootsuite, Buffer Tweetdeck and Aggregation tools and dashboards to identify relevant content and create a delivery schedule that works for you.

6) Harness Hashtags: Hashtags are the fastest way to share and find relevant information on Twitter. For example, professionals who participate in the TalentCulture community share HR and business leadership knowledge by adding the #TChat hashtag to their tweets. At any moment, anyone can search for #TChat, to see the community’s latest tweets. It’s like round-the-clock access to the most popular human resources conversation on the planet. If you follow a hashtag like #TChat in your Twitter dashboard, you’ll quickly and easily find helpful peers, ideas and advice. Also, when you schedule Twitter posts, be sure to add hashtags that reflect your area of expertise. Your posts will reach people in your niche, even when you’re offline.

7) Leverage Human Relationships: Sometimes, all of us need to unplug for several days or more. When you do, plan ahead. Just because you’ll be off the grid doesn’t mean your networking must come to a standstill. Reach out to several people in your immediate network. Let them know that you’re taking a break, and ask for a little extra support in sharing your work on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn — wherever you’re most active. You can even form ongoing support alliances and develop common “social back-up” guidelines. Just remember, you’re not alone.

8) Create a FOMO Free Zone: Perhaps the most important advice I can offer is to honor your social self. Competitive pressure shouldn’t drive your social brand development. Don’t let yourself become obsessed with how other people behave on social channels, or about whether volume or frequency of their activity trumps your own efforts. Whatever your message is, you’ll succeed when you deliver it through your own lens, with your own voice, to an audience that is naturally interested in you. Forget #FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!

Of course, even with healthy habits, it often feels like we’re networking at the speed of light. But hopefully these tips help you slow the pace a bit, focus on what matters, and generate more energy to fuel your social success.

Do you have tips for reducing stress and improving productivity in the age of social networking? What techniques and tools work for you? Share your ideas in the comments below.

(Editor’s Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Diversity in a New Key: #TChat Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? Read “#TChat Recap: The Creative Power of Diverse Ideas”

INNOVATION. Where does it start? It begins with diversity. Not just diversity of cultures. Diversity of perspectives and personalities. Diversity of ideas. A recent Forbes research report underscores that point:

“Diversity is a key driver of innovation and is a critical component of being successful on a global scale.”

When asked about the relationship between diversity and innovation, a majority of respondents agreed that diversity is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that foster innovation. Senior executives and employees alike are recognizing that a diverse set of experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds is crucial to innovation and the development of new ideas in and outside the workplace, as we find our career passion.

This week, expanding on ideas inspired by the book “Think Like Zuck,” by Ekaterina Walter, the TalentCulture community wiill explore how innovation grows from diversity. Research, as well as experience from the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and other innovators, is teaching us just how desperately we need to include all voices to achieve more effective outcomes. Does crowd-sourcing help innovation? Are all voices and ideas equal? How can Zuckerberg be an example of innovation through diversity? (Doesn’t he represent the ultimate lone inventor?)

Diversity isn’t just about demographics — although that is a first and a key component, without which our companies cannot move forward. Starting with demographic diversity as our foundation, we propose an expanded definition of diversity — not a counterpoint to the demographic meaning, but a flourish upon it. Let’s embrace diversity even more, and explore its power to lead to innovation in the world of work and beyond. This week, relying on diverse views to help us think about this, we’ll seek your voices in exploring these questions:

Q1: What are your unconventional definitions for diversity in the workplace? How is it more than demographics?

Q2: In the world of work, how do leaders nurture and cultivate diversity in its many non-demographic forms?

Q3: How does conventional diversity (i.e., diversity of demographics) play into diversity of ideas?

Q4: What role does #hrtech play in encouraging or discouraging #innovation & diversity of ideas in the workplace?

Q5: How do we exercise unconventional notions of diversity in our approach to #leadership?

Click to see the preview or listen to the show live, Wednesday 1/30, 7:30pm ET

As per the new usual, the #TChat goodness happens twice this week. First, on Tuesday, Jan. 29, there’s #TChat Radio from 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT. Our guest is a long-time member of our community, Rob Garcia (@RobGarciaSJ), director of product strategy & marketing at RiseSmart, a company that is delivering innovative next-generation outplacement solutions.

Then, on Wednesday, Jan. 30 — from 7-8 pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are) — we’ll tackle this topic on #TChat Twitter, where Rob will return, along with our other guest, Ekaterina Walters (@Ekaterina), herself.

It promises to be a fascinating week. So, please add your voice to the conversation and let’s see what a diversity of ideas can do to move our community forward!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? Read “#TChat Recap: The Creative Power of Diverse Ideas”

Image Credit:

Collaborative Communication Car Pool Fast Lane: #TChat Recap

I got the invite to chill with someone. And that’s when it hit me: there’s just too much information, too many content curation tools, too many sharing tools, too many communications tools that don’t really help me communicate. Whirlwind. Zoom. Zis-boom-ba. Turn the fire hose off and get me a real drink.

Sure, early adopters are compelled by their very nature to keep the fire hose on their hip next to their smart phones — like six-shooters ready for action. We want to experiment with innovative ideas, build on them and launch our own.

But do we really need this much action and interaction? Or is it creating a lack thereof? For me personally, I probably experimented with over 10 new “communications” tools in 2011, 9 of which I’ll never use again. I’m sure there are dozens more I’ve never even heard of.

When you ask the question, “How many communication tools/services do you use daily both in business and pleasure?,” my answer is, “Too many and not well enough.” I would argue that’s the case for most of us — tasting and playing and using less than 5%-10% of the communications tool capacity no better than an email see-saw. New and old services alike need utilization that sticks, because if you don’t use it regularly, you kill it, and that’s not what the founders of new tools want to hear. That’s why it’s highly subjective and contextual, finding the right daily communication tools that help move life along and not hinder it.

Facebook doesn’t have to worry about that. Neither does Twitter or LinkedIn. But all are anchored in email, the long-standing messy message moving tool. Not a communications tool, a messy message moving tool. The novelty wore off for me in the early 1990s when I worked at San Jose State University and we used email to push messages back and forth. Because it was fun and we could do it. Woot.

Have you ever tried to have a collaborative conversation via email? I know you have. It’s painfully disruptive and a time sink. Back and forth. Wait. Back and forth. Wait. Back and forth.

Hold the friggin’ phone. Literally — hold the phone and call me. It’s easier that way and more productive. Three others that I’ve found for all my iterative work worlds are Yammer and Skype and SocialEars. I’m sure you have your favorites as well. If you’re in a bigger company, your HR software might even have social communication functionality.

Let’s kill email like I want to kill the resume. Please. And no, I’m not a big texter either since I always text in complete English sentences like critical thinking homies. Word.

The good news is that the #TChat collaborative communication car pool fast lane is one that has remained open for over a year now, and the sharing and comparing and contrasting and venting and networking and catching up every week about all things world of work has made the information superhighway a little easier to traverse.

Then again, another value of virtual collaboration and online communication is that I can turn it off and actually get some real creative work done.

Don’t look at me that way. Get back to work. We’ve got communication innovations to invent.


Thank you to everyone who joined us last night! Welcome to 2012 #TChat! If you missed the preview, you can read it here.

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#TChat Communication Tools: You Can't Use Them ALL

What’s your morning communications, social media routine like? Mine’s getting more complicated every day. Personally, just email requires checking at least three accounts on three devices. At least one is Gmail, so I green-light Gmail chat and also Google+. Then it’s on to open a Skype window – many clients, friends reach me through Skype instant message. And to make sure I’m truly open, AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger are active, too. They’re a bit old-school, but a few of my clients still use them, so it’s not really negotiable in my world.  Then it’s on to Yammer to check up on the latest and greatest with my teams.

Twitter comes next. Hootsuite, Old School “regular” Twitter, and TweetChat  helps me monitor multiple Twitter streams and also makes it simple to cross-populate Facebook and LinkedIn with content. Another communications tool I’ve been checking out is the open-source Trillian, which automates the  management of multiple chat clients on both desktop and phone.

When it comes to corporate communications, it’s a whole new ball of wax, Facebook page admins, several WordPress log-ins, all the email and communications platforms like MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber and more. There are even ways to communicate via song (Spotify) and visual interest (Pinterest). Granted, not all of these apply to professionalism, but in our connected world, they sure do influence it.

The new tools can also be overwhelming; it’s a matter of choosing and experimenting. But when do we finally just pick and stop experimenting? What works best for workplace collaboration and productivity? Do you stop communicating? Ever?

Actually, no. Facebook is saved for stolen moments between calls and meetings on my end. I’m trying to use it more frequently, and in a way that does not make my friends have to deal with all my tweets (always a work in progress). Let’s not forget Facebook messaging – again, I’m trying to make it work into my weekly routine. And LinkedIn – the ole social standby – is a great business communications tool, so there’s always a browser tab open for it. Mind you, this is all before my first cup of coffee.

Does your social blend in a way that feels comfortable and consistent yet? Do you sense a theme emerging here? I think many people are trying to determine the very best way to manage communications tools both for  business and for pleasure.

The irony: in this flurry of activity, there hasn’t been  a single F2F social interaction, not even a cat sitting on the keyboard. Over the past year, actual live phone conversations have dropped off a tad. I’ve been making a point to schedule more meetings in person and to call people via Skype, Google Voice, or cell. Sometimes there is simply no time for in-person meetings. I live my business and social life, increasingly, in the world of social media. Some days it doesn’t seem healthy. Some days it feels just right. Some days I wonder how I ever existed without it. Some days I long for more IRL “In Real Life” contact with people.

In this week’s TalentCulture World of Work #TChat – brought to you through the wonders of social media, of course – we’re looking at the good, the bad and the ugly of social communication and workplace collaboration tools. The beauty of  Twitter Chats are clear – hundreds of people worldwide can have a discussion in real time, regardless of physical location – but it’s not clear which other social and workplace communications tools deliver a similar value.

And we have a hashtag where people can show up and share content, insight and fun with us 24.7. It’s become a unique online community and we look forward to continuing the conversation this year. We are going with the connection flow and enjoying every moment.

So let’s come together to explore which communications tools add value and which merely distract us from being productive. Because you can’t use them all. Or can you? Join us Wednesday night on #TChat The World of Work January 18th from 7-8 pm ET (6-7 CT, 4-5 pm PT), where social media and communication topics are in the hot seat. Join meKevin GrossmanMaren Hogan, Sean Charles and Kyle Lagunas for a very special #TChat.

Questions we’ll be discussing this week are here:



Facebook & the Strange Engagement Arrangement: #TChat Recap

Just because I like you, doesn’t mean we’re friends. At least on Facebook.

I’m talking about the strange engagement arrangement between companies, associations, non-profits, clubs, professional groups, other groups, events — and their followers. Or, more appropriately, their fans who “like” them by clicking on a thumbs-up tab and then getting streams of information from those groups. Maybe even posting a comment or two at times on those group pages.

It’s not really a town hall meeting, or an intimate community even, although there are sporadic bursts of interactivity, but Facebook is a universe unto itself — and the over 750 million active users.

Consider these statistics from Facebook:

  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
  • The average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States.
  • More than 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook, including over 80 of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and over half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites.
  • There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.

And the Facebook valuation — what is it now, $100 billion? — doesn’t go without being noticed by a wealthy contingent of investor “friends.” A new study shows that 46% of online users with investible assets of $1 million or more are members of Facebook, up from 26% a year ago. The survey, by Spectrem Group, showed that millionaire’s use of Twitter has declined, from 5% to 3%.

Guess they aren’t participating in #TChat, are they. At least not yet!

Then there’s the revenue streams for Facebook — the advertising, the gaming, the recruiting. The recruiting that’s getting bigger and bigger and bigger. LinkedIn may be the granddaddy career management network with a sweet recent IPO, but I’m hearing more and more how companies are using Facebook to source and recruit applicants. There’s danger in using Facebook to hire, but that doesn’t stop the vast majority of savvy recruiting and hiring managers. There are also dozens and dozens of recruiting apps plugged into Facebook, two of which include BeKnown and BranchOut.

750 million active users. You do the math.

Then there’s my grand fenceless Facebook experiment I wrote about yesterday. There are those who maintain lists, streams, groups, circles, buckets, sandboxes, canyons, firewalls — you name it. And for good reason: cyber warfare, hacking, identity theft, online bullying and child predators are much bigger problems today than they were 10 years ago while the ability for some of us to control our impulses is tenuous, running around our houses naked with the curtains drawn and shades pulled up committing various unseemly, even unlawful acts.

Then there are folks like me. Call me crazy, but my head and heart can’t separate my work and personal worlds; I just can’t fence them off. My grand social media experiment has worked so far for me because I feel I’m connecting with more people as a person, regardless of our connections initially — the great virtual melting pot. What’s interesting is that at a time when I can’t even get my next door neighbors to have a block party, I can connect, collaborate and commiserate virtually with anyone (and any entity) anywhere in the world. But, if anyone doesn’t want to “buy what I’m selling,” then they can turn me off, just like they can turn off other companies and “brands.”

No harm, no foul.

Who knows where Facebook will go in the next 5 to 10 years, but odds are we’ll be more and more assimilated into its universe — mainlining the strange engagement arrangement straight into our veins every minute of every day. Right on.

Wait, what’s Google+ again?

You can read the Facebook #TChat preview here and here were the questions from last night:

  • Q1: What are some interesting or innovative ways businesses are using Facebook effectively?
  • Q2: Do you engage with brands or companies on Facebook?  Why or why not?
  • Q3: Where does Facebook fit into job search and recruiting/hiring?  Is it an effective tool for recruiting?
  • Q4: What are some important reminders for organizations when creating a Facebook presence?
  • Q5: Many think Facebook will replace e-mail.  What other business applications might it augment or replace?
  • Q6: What does the future of Facebook look like in 5 years?  10?  How will it impact businesses and careers?

We’re still filling out the roster, but the second #TChat Radio episode is titled “The Realities of Business Heresy” — based on a recent 12 Most post by Ted Coiné — and welcomes the business leaders of 12 Most. Please join us on 8/31/11!

The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro and @KevinWGrossman, and powered by our friends @MattCharney and @CatyKobe, and partners @TalentCulture, @Monster_WORKS, @MonsterCareers, @12Most and of course @Focus.

What Social Recruiting IS and IS NOT: Welcome to TC, Jeff!

Hello all,  Jeff Waldman here.  As my first post, I am sharing the latest article from my blog. I look forward to becoming the newest contributer to Talent Culture and hope you all enjoy my writing!

I’ve been itching to write something about social recruiting… why? Because people who should be all over social recruiting and leveraging it as a strategic practice to build kick-ass organizations just don’t get it.

Hmmm… “the Jeff Waldman brainstorm session”…

I took a blank piece of paper and jotted down any idea that came to mind when I asked myself why people don’t really get it. I wrote a few things down, then put the piece of paper away and did some other work, came back to it a few hours later and wrote a few more things. Here’s a bit of a summary of what I came up with.

  1. HR, who supposedly is responsible for attracting and recruiting new talent has absofrickinglutely no clue how to utilize social recruiting. And…. they should.
  2. Forget about technology for a second, it’s been my experience that HR is not very good at being proactive with building talent pools and pipelines, and integrating workforce planning, succession planning and talent management functions into the day to day business. Note: if you’re not strategic then spending any amount of time using social recruiting is a complete waste of time!!!  In fact, it’ll more of a detriment to what you’re trying to do, building and developing a recognizable and solid employer brand.
  3. The role of HR in most organizations, regardless of what HR people say their role is, is really nothing more than reactive, administrative in nature, and frankly viewed as a cost centre. No wonder why I cringe when I see the way over-priced Masters in HR program that York University recently started offering… I still haven’t seen anything in their course curricula that has anything to do with real business.
  4. There are obvious demographic characteristics associated with using technology —- e.g. “I’m 50 years old, I don’t want to touch social media….. it’s a foreign world to me so I’ll let one of our junior 20 something year olds figure it out… let me just continue doing my thing as I’ve always done it”!!

These were the common themes, and there are many other points that came to mind but the key thought is this:

All social recruiting really is, is a highly effective tool to proactively and strategically support the business attract and hire the best talent out there…. simple as this! The principle of talent attraction is not new one bit, but HOW someone does it is new….. TECHNOLOGY.  By the way, in addition to social recruiting being highly effective it is extremely cost effective, which in this day and age, never hurts the bottom line of your organization.

What Social Recruiting is Not…

Don’t forget that the core purpose of social media is engagement… conversation, interaction, consistent and constant dialogue, finding common interests globally, sharing, collaborating, caring and relationship building. However, I see on a daily basis people/companies that I am following “pushing” content out without really caring about the conversation and dialogue.  They are missing out on a huge opportunity that is literally served up to them on a silver platter. Why would I care what a company says if they have never shown any interest in what others are saying and doing? I value reciprocity, and pushing 100% of the time does not demonstrate reciprocity whatsoever.

Here’s an example that I think you’ll recognize. You’re following company X and you see a tweet on Twitter from this company that they are hiring a Marketing Manager… they include the link to the job posting that takes you to their website. That’s it… they may tweet about this job more than once. You then take a look at the history of this organizations’ tweets and you notice they are of the same variety, and they have only tweeted 15 times during the past year. Everything is pushed content. What’s different about how this company is using Twitter versus putting a job ad in Craigslist or Workopolis? You guessed it….. NOT A FRICKING THING… This is NOT social recruiting!!

The Point…

Social recruiting is not rocket science. It’s just a really effective way to proactively and strategically build the most talented and best organization possible. However, and I hate to break this to you but hard work is required on an ongoing basis in order to reap the benefits that social recruiting has to offer. All of those descriptive words that I used earlier to describe what social media should be are things you need to employ when using social recruiting.

The principle of building relationships have never changed, and never will. The tactics you use to do this though have changed, and technology is that change. If you want to compete with companies that “get it” then you better start fully embedding social recruiting into your day to day activities.

Be proactive, be strategic, be smart and help your company achieve their business objectives. Technology is not a scary beast that can never be mastered and learned. Find someone in your organization that understands the finer points of social media who can give you a demo of each of the primary social media tools (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn).

Then leverage the desired technological platform(s) to engage, converse, talk to, share with and reciprocate with other people…. you’ll be amazed how quickly and effectively you’ll meet and connect with people you would never have met otherwise. The senior executives of your organization will hail you as a hero to being “the one” who single handily increased the level of your workforce talent while reducing real costs associated with HR. They will LOOOOOOVE YOOOUUUU!!

Give Your Facebook Brand a Facelift

With so much great advice out there about how to build one’s personal brand through blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks, it’s important not to forget how all of it applies to one’s Facebook activity.

Here are some top personal branding tips on how to enhance your Facebook presence:

Plug your personal brand. Before you do anything else, physically plug your personal brand and supporting pitch or statement right into your Facebook profile.  You can do this in the About Me box below your profile picture, the About Me section under your profile’s Info tab as well as in a profile Note.  This will not only help you communicate and reinforce your brand to your current friends, but also to new friends, potential partners or prospective employers. – Chris Perry,

Claim your domain. The first step in Facebook personal branding is to obtain your own domain name on Facebook if available (i.e. Having your own Facebook URL makes it easier for people to find you and can be a great marketing tool that you can add to all your social networks, business cards and in your email signatures.  – Derrick Hayes,

Optimize your keywords. Ask someone (in your industry) to proof your LinkedIn profile.  I used to recommend doing this with a paper resume, but even easier if you have a friend in the industry.  Just ask them to peruse to see if you missed any key words, etc.  – Diane K. Danielson,

Be a resource. Don’t just use the updates.  Share resources (articles, websites, book reviews etc.) to show that you not only have an expertise but you generously share your skills/knowledge. – Drew McLellan, The McLellan Group

Initiate conversation. Seek comments on your wall and start a dialogue with your Facebook friends. This will galvanize your friends to share and link back to your content, thus increasing your reach. Join or create relevant groups and fan pages, and actively participate in them. Posting your promotions blindly across the site will simply be viewed as spam, so two-way communication is key. – David Mathison,

Create a Facebook fan page. This page is separate from your personal profile and should include a clear attractive photo (modest attire), basic personal information i.e. postal address, valid professional email etc. and at least 3 notes, written by you.

The first note describes your educational and professional accomplishments. Consider this an elaboration of your resume. The second note describes the type of company you would like to work for. Use this to describe in detail your “perfect” company and ideal working conditions.  Finally, your third note is your personal advocate note. Hypothetically describe a problem that a company faces and how you would solve it.  – Charlene Nora,

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this wealth of personal branding insight!

Chris Perry, MBA is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, a career search and personal branding expert and the founder of Career Rocketeer, Launchpad, Blogaristo and more.