TechCrunch recently posted a chart from Flowing Data showing the number of facebook applications by category. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that “Just for Fun” section has the most apps by a very large margin, with gaming coming 2nd. Without a doubt that’s the reason behind the slew of random “what kind of fish I am” and “if you had a pet rock, would it be good or evil?” notices I get every single day from my friends. It is also a reason most professionals and people looking to connect and maintain professional relationships moved onto other social networks like LinkedIn and Plaxo. I hear it from more and more people that they only log on to accept a friend invite or quickly look somebody up, and run away in horror after having to sift through hundreds of notices just to find that friend invite.
Facebook is still a great way to connect and share information. Not only does your profile inherently have a high “trust” rating in Google, but it can also serve as a highly custom landing page for you or your company. Here are a few tips to keep your profile professional and up to date without ever touching it. The hardest part of this process is keeping it personal enough to share your interests while keeping it interesting to the people that do not know you.
1. Have means to contact you easily accessible on the top. Out of Instant Messaging, Phone or Email or website URLs you should provide at least one. Listing multiple ways to contact you is obviously the best. The websites you list will be getting very tasty Facebook flavored link juice, which always helps. At the same time, do not use it purely for your corporate contacts, keep in mind that facebook is for connecting outside work, so listing interests and personal you-and-your-dog websites is very much encouraged.
2. Use apps that link into your other social profiles. Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon,Google Shared Feeds and even just rss blog feed all can be integrated without being too spammy, and will always keep the content on your page fresh and current. Most of the apps I linked for your convenience, to import your rss feed, just go to the official Notes application and click on “import your own blog” link at the bottom. If you do a lot of stumbling, tagging through delicious or sharing items in google reader make sure to disable them from updating mini feed otherwise they will overwhelm it and your friends would probably not be very happy with you.
3. Finally, use Facebook for its intended purpose. There are plenty of ways to deal with the never ending stream of “Just for Fun” app spam, and one of them is just to power through. Organize events, be active in groups, constantly be on lookout for people you know, and stay in touch with your current friends. You never know when or who will bring you a new client or provide a new business opportunity.