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BLOGSocial Notworking

by Randall CraigFiled in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social MediaTagged as:

Social media is used by recruiters to look for “hidden” candidates and to disqualify inappropriate ones. It is used by sales reps to look for new prospects and connect better with existing ones. And it can be used by you to connect outward to those you know, and to develop your reputation with those you don’t.

For all these reasons and more, we spend increasing amounts of time on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, often without a clear return on our time investment, and sometimes doing more harm than good. After so many years of Social Media ubiquity, it’s not a bad idea to return to first principles:


  • Don’t be presumptive and assume that everyone will want to be your connection or friend. If there is any question in your mind that someone may refuse, then call them up and ask first. After all, a key goal of social networking is to facilitate real networking.
  • Don’t automatically assume that everyone wants to give you a written recommendation. Some people feel uncomfortable giving blanket public recommendations, while others may not want to give you one at all. Best ask in a way that doesn’t put the other person into an embarrassing position.
  • Don’t accept connections with people who you don’t have a real-world relationship with. If you do accept these unknowns, expect them to pester you with commercial solicitations.  Then they will pester you for introductions to your colleagues – or call them up directly and use your name. Yikes.
  • Don’t be inconsistent with your image across the various social media sites. It raises a red flag. And at the same time, make sure that there are no embarrassing – or out-of-brand – images of you posted on these sites. These raise a redder flag.


  • To prevent identity theft and to ensure that you are being represented properly, make sure that you claim your profile on all of the profile aggregator sites. ( is an example).
  • Do remember that everything that you have ever written, if it was posted online, is findable online – even if it was deleted. The Wayback Machine and Google have seen to it.
  • Do check your profile regularly wherever you have a presence, to ensure that nothing inappropriate about you was posted by your connections, and to take advantage of their ever-changing new features..

This week’s action item: Despite the risks, Online PR and Social Media represent a tremendous opportunity to significantly extend your personal profile. The only question is whether you use the tool strategically or not. This week, at a minimum, go through each site that you are registered on, and make sure that each is up-to-date, and consistent. (For more information on Social Media strategy, see

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