When Social Media is Not Your Business Partner

"Sally Balwin"

Recruitment | HR | Business Development

As business owners and managers we are told we must get on the social media wagon as a strategic marketing tool for our businesses.  We must tweet, linkin, facebook, google places and maps, about me, womow etc etc etc or be left behind.  And yes, these mediums can be terrific in supporting our businesses.  However, recently a reality check merged which would stop anyone in their tracks.

A person was looking for someone with particular professional skills to refer to a client.  They posted a shout-out on a social media group seeing if other group members could refer.  A response came recommending a person.  Simple!

Here’s where it gets interesting.  The next post questioned whether the referred person actually held the qualifications being sought and was sufficiently skilled to do the work.  The referring subject responded by saying they assumed so because someone else in the office used them.

Whether this person did or did not hold the qualifications was no longer relevant because potentially hundreds of members in the group read the thread of posts which, it is suggested, has impacted on this absent person’s reputation.  The referrer’s reputation has not fared well either as they were recommending someone they had no direct knowledge of.

It was a very loud reminder that with social media, what is posted is reaching hundreds if not thousands of people in a second and once out there, can’t be taken back.  Perhaps if the respondent had questions about the referred person, it would have been better handled in a private message rather than putting it out there for all to see.

What do you think?