Facebook, for example is very user friendly, visually appealing, and is very popular. This allows individuals to connect with a wide variety of individuals and stay connected as time passes. Facebook Fan pages can be created to get business or program information to a wide number of people. Since many students already are on Facebook, it is a very helpful tool to keep students engaged and updated. Some disadvantages to Facebook, is that it is more personal than professional. Since it allows people to stay connected to family and friends, it is geared more for sharing information about personal experiences. Keeping a professional profile can be hard in this environment.
This is where LinkedIn has its advantages. LinkedIn is like Facebook but for professionals. It allows people to connect with other professionals, gives individuals a place to highlight one’s skills and best work, and even allows people to validate each other’s skills. This makes it easy for future employers to see exactly what skills someone has. It also opens up many job opportunities because it allows one to connect to professionals all across the world. Many online applications can also easily be filled out by simply connecting a LinkedIn profile to the application. The disadvantage that I have found with LinkedIn is that it not as user friendly as Facebook or a PWP has been. I also find that it is not as visually appealing either.
Even with the pros and cons of both Facebook and LinkedIn, both of these tools can be used to promote oneself in a professional way. The great thing about social networking is that it has the ability to open more opportunities than traditional networking alone. Deciding on which social network platform largely depends on the individual’s goals, audience, and message. And with so many options to choose from, this is an easy task to accomplish.