Rob Yandell

Editor, Publisher, Events

How accurate is LinkedIn and do social networks have a responsibility too?

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Our office increasingly uses LinkedIn as a way of finding new contacts, sales leads and pushing out our own news and developments. But what if that information is wrong? Even worse, what if information about your company is wrong?

I received an automated e-mail recently that proudly proclaimed that someone within my LinkedIn network was celebrating a two-year work anniversary at my company. The problem is, they left several months ago.

LinkedIn logo on a pen

It doesn’t do any favours for the individual of course, but then it’s their own fault for letting their profile lapse. My issue is that it also reflects poorly on us as a company and doing anything about it is not easy, if not near impossible.

It’s not the first time that I have seen inaccurate info on LinkedIn. Luckily most of the time a polite message to the person concerned and it is corrected. But there are other occasions when repeated attempts to ask a previous employee to update their profile information fall on deaf ears. LinkedIn does have a procedure but it’s time and effort that could be better served moving the business forward, and it doesn’t guarantee anything will change.

Anyone could set up a group or company on LinkedIn and run with it, whether they work there or not. What happens if an employee runs your LinkedIn Showcase Page(s) and then leaves without passing on right permission levels and/or log-in details? LinkedIn have intimated to me that the ex member of staff would hold all the cards. Not quite right is it? Surely social media giants have a responsibility to ensure brands and companies are protected and that their network is clear, credible and accurate.

I am currently working on adding a new social media policy to our company handbook which I hope will improve things for us, our readers and advertisers. This area has ballooned too much in recent years and needs rules and guidelines attached to it for the good of the business. It’s also important and only fair that staff know where they stand too.

Blanket bans on using social media would harm a publishing and events company like ours, but controlling it to ensure social can add to our successes and not be a distraction is vital.

Author: Rob Yandell

Editor, publisher, event organiser.

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