Part of the downside of social media engagement is the barrage of spam you receive. In your email Inbox. In your LinkedIn inbox, on your Twitter feed, on Facebook.
But here’s the thing.
Everyone who is reaching out to you as LinkedIn Connections may not be who they say they are. There are a lot of weird looking profiles out there.
Take the time to validate the folks who want to “connect” with you. Otherwise you may just have accepted a spammer who will hack into your account.
Don’t have time to look at everyone’s profile? Just trying to get a bazillion Followers or Connections so you look credible and important?
Here’s the deal.
Go to your own LinkedIn profile. Click on each of the company names that you are affiliated with. Obviously your own profile should be listed as working for your company. Who else’s profile shows up on the list?
You may be a sole proprietor. Yet you find there is someone out there who is claiming to work for you!! That’s fraudulent use of your company name (which I hope you have registered as a trademark). That’s also fraudulent use of LinkedIn.
These false profiles can be associated with recruiting scams, which have been abundant since the economy tanked in 2008. These scams reference those false profiles who make it look like they “work” for legitimate companies like yours. These recruiting scams ask these unsuspecting job applicants for personal information and a fee. You know the rest.
Then there are the folks who reach out to connect with you on LinkedIn. You know, the ones with no avatar. Or worse, the ones with out of focus pictures or with pictures of military personnel.
My advice, click on the profile and read it thoroughly.
I’ve seen a military photo with a Summary for an attorney, followed by Professional Experience for an entirely different field. It’s a cobbled-together, quasi-legitimate looking profile. The information just doesn’t flow. It doesn’t make sense.
I can’t tell you why these people do what they do. All I can tell you is that it is your responsibility to curate your social media profiles and content.
And I haven’t even gotten started on Twitter.
Once spammers gain access to your links, it’s a portal to where they really want to go.
Sobering stuff, but nonetheless, it was time we had this chat.
Take good care.
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, is a management consultant and business coach. She helps startups and small-to-medium manufacturing and service companies who have difficulty with unpredictable revenue streams… and social selling. Her book on communication and collaboration strategies and tools, Do YOU Mean Business? Technical / Non-Technical Collaboration, Business Development and YOU, is available on Amazon.com.