Jessica’s Answer:

This is a question that came up at a networking breakfast I attended yesterday, and the speaker steered the participant in another direction.

In the famous words of Ron Burgundy AKA Anchorman  “AGREE TO DISAGREE!”

I think Facebook is a GREAT resource for networking ESPECIALLY for all of you shy people out there who hate going to networking events.

Here are just a few reasons to use Facebook for networking:
1. Helping your social network:
– A client needed a DP to shoot his short film, starring recognizable talent. I posted it on my status, and he received more than enough responses, set up interviews with some, and hired his DP.
– A Camera Operator needed a Camera Assistant ASAP. I posted it on my status. The job was filled within minutes.

2. Creating deeper relationships with people:
Facebook gives you the opportunity to post about work/business, while also allowing them access to your personal life. Post photos of your family, pets, hobbies, etc. so people can learn what you have in common.
They also get a sense of your personality. By reading your status updates, they will see if you have like-minded interests, similar sense of humor, share a love for Jack Bauer, etc.

3. Overcoming the distance obstacle:
If you don’t live in Hollywood, you don’t get to be in people’s faces as much as necessary. This allows you to be a part of people’s lives, wherever you live.

4. Meeting people you want to know:
I “friended” a large number of Camera Operators who had mutual friends. I’d known their names, from my years of being the Career Coach at The Cinematographers Guild, but I’d never met them. This year, at the SOC Awards, I met them in person, recognizing them from their Facebook pictures, and walking over saying, “Hey, Facebook Friend!”    

I say GO FOR IT!

ANOTHER great resource for entertainment industry networking is Stage 32 because it’s exclusively for entertainment professionals. See my article: Pitch Perfect on how to maximize networking on Stage 32. 

If you have a question, put it in the comment section.
To your success!