The Facebook ads I posted back in July resulted in a little bit of press, mostly due to the awesome Debbie Stier of HarperStudio, but also because I’m absurdly cool. Some of that press wasn’t so positive, and since another pretty negative blog post cropped up recently I want to address some of the factors other bloggers have mentioned.
Facebook ads can’t replace traditional networking.
Traditional networking is dead. Give me one person who likes to stand around awkwardly in a room full of strangers cradling the ubiquitous “classy” plastic cup and I’ll give you 1,000 who’d rather break a kneecap.
I wouldn’t consider myself a shy person, but in groups of people I pretend I have a super important call and usually stand on the sidelines until some nice person decides they feel horribly bad for me and make some form of small talk for 5 minutes until they realize I’m incredibly boring. But give me one person. Give me a blog friend or the president of a major publishing house and I can schmooze with the rest of them. I like one-on-one, but it’s hard to find that one person unless you “know a guy” (insert heavy NYC-Italian accent here) or successfully attended one of these networking events.
Social media (including, but not limited to, Facebook ads) puts you in touch with hundreds of people you might never have had the balls to approach otherwise. Social media has the ability to foster some incredibly important – and mutually beneficial – relationships. People need to stop freaking out about how the internet makes things “less personal” just because many interactions are no longer face-to-face. I have developed more personal and wonderful and important relationships in the past 6 months than I ever did doing things the “traditional” way. And I’m positive my fellow tech-savvy, social-media-at-the-ready, scared-of-groups comrades would agree.
Ads make you look desperate.
You know what? The economy sucks and it’s harder than ever to get a job, so if you’re unemployed, you’re most likely desperate. Not to mention the fact that sending out generic cover letters and cold calling is a rude and impersonal act of desperation.
Cecelia Martinez over at Dcecelia.com, Joe Grimm of Poynter Online and Caitlin McDevitt on The Big Money wrote that the ads are creepy and gimmicky. Gimmicky? Maybe. But you have to back the ads up with substance, you can’t just sit back and wait for jobs to come to you. When I think of a “gimmick” I think misrepresentation. Devious. As for creepy? Bite me. Honestly, you don’t want people targeting you on Facebook because of where you work, your age or what your interests are, don’t post them. It’s that simple.
It doesn’t work.
Let’s check out two quotes:
“But did Facebook help Schembari land her dream job? Not sure.” ~ Rachel Kaufman, Media Jobs Daily
“There hasn’t been word that any one of these ads has helped these job seekers gain anything more than a little bit of publicity on employment blogs.” ~ Cecelia Martinez, Dcecelia.com
Here’s where I brag: First of all, um, I got a job, and I’ve already bitched about Kaufman’s definition of a “dream job.” Secondly, check out my press page again. Do it. Do it now. About three of those articles came about without any help from me. Any other press I received I got through contacting journalists through HARO, finding like-minded people on Twitter and through my freelance work at Digital Book World.
Like I said earlier, you can’t just put up an ad (something that takes balls but basically zero skill, time or money) and expect shit to happen.
To summarize, here’s a snippet of my comment on Dcecelia’s blog:
[The ads] just help get your name out there, which can often be the hardest part. Applying through job boards is a supreme waste of time and ultimately, while I did leave the job I got through the ads, there were a variety of reasons behind that decision, one of which was that I’ve been getting so much freelance work I don’t need a 9 to 5.
To be honest, if you’re looking for a traditional job through a traditional company, the ads may be a waste of time and money. That’s the first mistake. But if people think you’re “innovative” (a word that makes HR managers cry like 12-year-old girls) it doesn’t really matter if the ads reek of desperation. I know so many more people because of these ads and am now able to keep those connections, get freelance work, do said work from home, make more money, not have a boss AND go to culinary school. So total lameness aside, I would call the ads a complete success.