Invited to BranchOut on Facebook? Maybe you should just say no.

Originally posted February 2012 – BranchOut.com is now on Hiatus

Those two magic words… You’re invited! “Are you in or you out?” (to quote George Clooneys character in Ocean’s 11).

What is BranchOut, exactly? It’s a Facebook App for Career Networking… 

  • Do I need that?
  • Do you need that?
  • Does it duplicate other online services you already have?
  • Does it perform better than other online services you use or might choose instead?
  • Would it be wise to be a participant in BranchOut, as well as other services?

Being self-employed rather on a employer-employee career path makes it a different decision. In advising others, I do my best to try things out and offer my opinion.

In short, if you’re self-employed, you don’t need it. If you work for someone else, BranchOut duplicates LinkedIn, in a big way. For most people, it’s unnecessary to do both. My preference would be LinkedIn.

The philosophy is this:

“In a land of unlimited social media and networking choices, it’s important to actually MAKE CHOICES. More is not necessarily better. That’s not to say BranchOut isn’t for some people. However, if you’re not using the least number of services offering the greatest amount of leverage, you’re wasting precious time and personal energy.”

That’s the word!

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog

BranchOut’s Community Manager rebuts The Wedding Marketing Blog

BranchOut’s Community Manager rebuts The Wedding Marketing Blog

branchoutI posted about my personal observations about BranchOut, a Facebook application. Interestingly enough, BranchOut’s Community Manager, Ali, posted a comment in rebuttal to my post. I thought it would be worthwhile to repost her comment and my notations for your consideration.

“Hey Andy,

My name is Ali and I am BranchOut’s Community Manager. How is BranchOut different from LinkedIn? You bring up some interesting points and I would love to clarify.”

Ali’s response began with a friendly greeting and then dove directly into talking points.

“BranchOut leverages Facebook to help professionals improve their careers and assist companies to hire the best candidates. Facebook is significant for 4 main reasons:

1) Facebook is the largest social network – with 800 million monthly active users. LinkedIn only has 40 million monthly active users, meaning that Facebook is more than 15 times larger than LinkedIn. BranchOut has 300 million profiles And 10 million users…we are growing very quickly as people as seeing the value!”

Facts about the size of each social network are impressive, but not important. Wedding professionals are usually interested in networking with their peers or brides in their local market. Worldwide numbers of all users don’t matter.

“2) Facebook is more diverse thank LinkedIn. LinkedIn focuses on the top 10% of the workforce: upper-level, white-collar managers. BranchOut, like Facebook, has this demographic, as well as the other 90% of the workforce. Companies can hire the full spectrum of their workforce – not just top managers – on BranchOut because it reflects Facebook’s global diversity.”

Again, if one is networking among business owners and upper-level managers, reaching beyond that is not necessarily helpful. In building relationships, not just connected-names on a social media site, a larger pool is not helpful for most wedding professionals.

“3) Facebook has the highest level of engagement. People visit Facebook and spend more time on it than any other site. 50% of all users visit Facebook every day. People share more information on Facebook than any other site.”

That’s all true, but how engaged are people in BranchOut, specifically? And, is a career-networking the right kind of networking for most wedding professionals?

4) Facebook is where you connect with your real relationships – your family, friends, and closest colleagues, not someone you met at a conference for 5 minutes.

I would argue that this is not correct. The average Facebook user is hardly so discriminating in limited their ‘friends’.

“BranchOut is more powerful than other professional networks because it leverages the scale, diversity, engagement, and strengths of relationships on Facebook. If you have additional questions, I am happy to be a resource!

Cheers,

Ali”

I think Ali’s comments are all well-intentioned, but I don’t think she understands that BranchOut doesn’t really offer a good fit for most wedding professionals… not just me.

Andy Ebon
The Wedding Marketing Authority
The Wedding Marketing Blog