Here’s a great idea. Let’s link our social media accounts together, so when we have something brilliant to say, all of our friends will benefit from our comments. On the surface, that may seem to make sense. It certainly appeals to our egos, and it promises to extend our social reach. But there are networks, and then there are networks.
We’ve all heard the tales of young professionals who’ve been “busted” by their own Facebook accounts: the “sick” employee who couldn’t make it to work, but seemed healthy enough to go skiing, the college student who applied for an internship not thinking that the employer would find the pix her pals posted of her, drunk and passed out in the back of a car. But we are professionals, and we’re smarter than that.
Or are we?
Think back, through your network updates. How many times have you seen people’s personal comments popping up on LinkedIn, because they’ve linked their Twitter feeds? In a recent discussion with MBA students – all professionals pursuing mid-career credentials – we uncovered these real-world Twitter reposts that leaked into their friends’ LinkedIn (business) updates:
- “looking forward to a hot date, tonight.”
- “…just took back Mayor of [local bar]”
- “…wrapping up a proposal for the worst client in history”
- “Madonna is still hot”
- “sometimes, I wish my children had been drowned at birth”
You get the idea. There are networks and there are networks.