Thanks to @sarahsocialpr and @mroelink I’ve been inspired to trial BranchOut this week.
BranchOut can be quickly described as LinkedIn for Facebook. It’s all set within Facebook and it can draw in your LinkedIn profile quickly and easily. From there, it’s about extending your BranchOut profile to include Facebook friends, and to start acquiring recommendations, seeking job ideas and so on.
BranchOut launched in July last year, but it hadn’t yet hit my radar. Now that I’ve trialled it, I can put forward a thoughts:
1. It provides virtual rewards. While these resonate with the Facebook platform and may be taking a leaf out of Foursquare’s success story, it doesn’t make sense in a job-hunting, networking environment. BranchOut may think the virtual rewards are necessary to propel people to extend their connections, but for me it’s slightly embarrassing to be awarded the Bronze Super Connector Award (even worse, the Junior Super Connector Award. What is this, Lions Club meets Little Athletics?)
2. It quickly fills your Facebook news feed. And that quickly becomes boring. I don’t necessarily want to know that Jack invited Jill to connect with him on BranchOut. And likewise, I don’t want to bore my friends with my BranchOut activity. That’s why I disconnected my Foursquare from Facebook, for example. Yet I can’t find anywhere in BranchOut’s settings for me to turn off its alerts from my stream.
3. Is Facebook the right place for job networking? For some, the answer will be yes: but for me, the answer is no. I use Twitter to network, make connections and brand myself (as well as send ridiculous tweets to amuse friends). I use LinkedIn as a personal website to house my CV and learn more about potential clients and partners. I don’t think I need the help of my former primary school buddies and aunties in Perth, when it comes to building my career. I’ve purposely kept Facebook ‘friend friendly’ and my network relatively small.
For now, I won’t branch out further, but perhaps sit under the shade and see what happens. Have you tried it yet?