Facebook is LinkedIn for Small Towns
I have long dabbled with this theory and it seems every time I am on Facebook it is proven.
LinkedIn dubs itself as the professionals social network. And for the most part, it is. You can add work experience, upload your resume, post about achievements, find a job, post a job, join a forum of likeminded professionals and message other professionals.
By all accounts, the system is wonderful and should be fully utilized by all professionals. But in a small town, it is not.
Maybe in bigger cities LinkedIn is more popular and professionals - or users - spend more time on it conversing with other professionals and employers. The job market in a bigger city might be more competitive or the physical size of the city makes it easier to use a tool such as LinkedIn.
In a small town, though, it doesn’t fly. I’ve tried to think of a logical reason but best I can come up with is that in a small town we like to mix business with pleasure. Hear me out.
Facebook is popular. Everywhere. Big cities and small. Facebook has become the hub for online communications from 20-year-olds to 70-year-olds and because the degree of separation between people in a small town is much lower there is a good chance you’re connected to a handful of other professionals because of a one-time meeting or an introduction from a mutual friend.
This might be the same too in bigger cities but in a small town, it is amplified. And on the flip side as a business owner or a local politician, I know that I can engage with other people in the community by being on there.
So my theory is that while we use Facebook for personal reasons, the line is blurred and we also use it as a networking tool and we are alright with that. Thus, Facebook is LinkedIn for small towns.
And I’m not just using myself as an example. I look through my friends list on Facebook and see a wide variety of friends who are business owners, professionals and politicians from different industries and walks of life who are also using Facebook in a similar way.
The mayor and I have 100 mutual friends, I’m Facebook friends with half of City Council while a local business owner has 1200 friends (no one can have that many personal friends or family).
If there are so many people using Facebook for professional reasons why then don’t we move to LinkedIn? Because Facebook has the eyeballs. Again, everyone, regardless of age, checks Facebook, so it is the place to be. Oh, and potential employers will look you up on Facebook before hiring you. FYI for those we like to party and run their mouth.
Why is this important?
Well, if you’re new to town or have an idea you want to spread you need to connect with people. What I’m saying is you might have a better chance on Facebook than LinkedIn. In reality, Facebook is actually even easier to connect with people as you don’t need their email address.
So tell me, do you connect with people on a professional level on Facebook?
PS. I still use LinkedIn to connect with people. I’m not sure why at the moment but I do.
PPS. Connect with me on Facebook.