Social Media Privacy? Get Over It!
Part One – Everyone you know is a potential business lead.
That’s right. Whether or not you are currently a job seeker, chances are that you will be at some point. I apologize up front, this is going to be a little long. But it’s worth it.
As a recruiter, I consider everyone a potential job seeker, even (maybe especially) other recruiters. I also consider everyone a potential client, future partner, or employer.
You should too. My point is that you never know where your next lead may come from.
Suppose Suzy is a stay at home mom. She might not be any of those things listed above. But her husband, neighbor, or cousin could be. And if she knows about you, or what you do, or what kind of job you are looking for, etc., because you have been verbal about it on social media, she may very well be able to refer you into your next great opportunity.
And the more people you have in your network, friends, family, business people or colleagues, who get to know you better because of your profile and positive things you post, the better your odds are of generating those leads on a regular basis.
Part 2 – My Facebook Profile is Personal, Not Business. Phooey!
I just returned from a conference in London where one of the interesting topics that came up was that of using Facebook for business or career gain. Recruiters and other business people in the UK are very conservative about opening up their Facebook profiles for business use. Most can’t imagine connecting with clients or job candidates in such a private place.
I told my Brit counterparts that we were a bit like that in the U.S. about a year ago. And we got over it. Facebook is the largest social network in the world. And everyone on it is a potential lead. Why would you not take advantage of such a great platform on which to brand yourself and grow a community of people who trust you, and are willing to refer business or job leads to you.
“But there is all this stuff there I wouldn’t want anyone to see!” is the typical response. Phooey! You need to get that stuff off of your profile anyway. Do you really think, just because you don’t accept friend requests from people who you don’t want seeing your private stuff, or because you have your privacy settings a certain way, that the private stuff you have on there can never be discovered?
Part 3 – You’ve Been Hacked
There are people who sit around all day with the sole goal of breaking these barriers. Go to Google right now and search on “hack a Facebook profile“ and you will get hundreds of thousands results and how-to’s. I’m not giving away any secrets here. And chances are that most of these hacks won’t work right this second as Facebook is constantly trying to stay ahead of the hackers.”
But when is the last time you saw a Facebook virus send you or your friend’s profile on a spamming spree? It happens every week. Guess what? That profile has been hacked.
Part 4 – It’s Your Brand – Just Keep it Clean and Keep Your Secrets Offline
The only way to completely keep people from knowing all your dirty secrets is to keep them to yourself. But there are a few things you can do to keep your Facebook profile cleaner.
For one thing, set your privacy settings so that tagged photos of you posted by others are not automatically posted to your profile. And any photos that you do find that are tagged with your name that you deem inappropriate (or just ugly), simply untag them. They cannot be tagged again unless by you.
And just watch what you say, and what you allow people to say back on your wall and other people’s walls. If you don’t like a comment, just delete it.
Super blogger, Rayanne Thorn, in her session on Social Media ROI at the TRULondon II event, said that her rule of thumb is to always assume her mother is reading everything that goes on her Facebook profile. Good advice.
You can find a few more good suggestions like this article, Keep you Facebook profile clean! | Facebook.
So, I say clean up your profile. It’s not really that private anyway. And grow your network. Start posting positive material there that sometimes tells people about what you do in business as well as in life.
No spamming please. You can’t build a good online personal brand if you beat down everyone you know with your home-based business or MLM opportunities every day. But you can build a good reputation and gain trust in you interact positively with your network and post helpful information (not just inspirational quotes) on a fairly regular basis.
Craig Fisher is a founding partner of A-List solutions, blogger at http://blog.fishdogs.com/, and host of the TalentNet Live #TNL recruiter forum. As a 15 year recruiting industry veteran, Craig is a social recruiting & new media branding strategist for job seekers and employers. Follow Craig on Twitter @Fishdogs.
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