Your attempts to build a professional presence on Social Media are at risk! Don’t worry, Slimer isn’t about to burst out of your laptop or smartphone and cover it in Ectoplasm. That would be mildly amusing, if not a little scary.
No, I am talking about the Social Media “ghosts” who lurk in the shadows. The people who view your profile anonymously, the false profiles which decide to troll your blog and ruin your credibility, the competitors who set up false profiles on feedback websites to bring down your ratings.
These are just a few examples, but as your social media profile becomes even more central to your business, these “ghosts” could turn from a mere annoyance to something far more serious.
Let’s turn on our proton packs and tackle them in turn:
The anonymous viewers
Firstly, the anonymous viewers. Some people (especially recruiters) would argue that they don’t want to be seen “stalking” prospects. Others (maybe jobseekers) could say the same about checking out a hiring manager.
This is understandable if there is likely to be an element of repetition, but otherwise, why would people do that? I am fascinated by who has viewed my profile and their possible motives for doing so. I always check out their profiles and this in turn gives them more visibility.
Surely that is a good thing, both for recruiters and job seekers. There are some LinkedIn users that even use viewing lots of profiles as a growth tactic – they know that they will get the reciprocal views.
False profiles trolling your blog
Now, to the false profiles trolling your blog. This is a tricky one. I have just started blogging and have not been the target of a troll just yet, but I can imagine how powerless you must feel.
It is very easy to set up a false LinkedIn profile, and as soon as one is banned, you can set up another one.
This is perfect for the cowardly trolls, and there may be a future where trolling comes out of the shadows. That is a worrying thought. “Hire me, I’m a professional troll – your competitors won’t stand a chance.” Some scumbags will find that attractive.
Thirdly, websites, which measure customer satisfaction are still worryingly easy to influence. The plethora of small businesses that are springing up at the moment will rely on these sites for new clients, and again, leaving nasty comments is not so hard. These sites will develop means to weed out the ghost comments, but they should not mass delete the negative ones, or their credibility is lost. The ghosts will find their way around any restrictions.
It is about time that something was done about online anonymity. Yes, there will be huge concerns about hackers accessing personal details, so I doubt that there will be extensive changes in terms of having a “personal” login, but there should at least be a orchestrated campaign to name and shame those caught.
Someone should set up a website with the details of the culprits….
Ghostbusters.com would be a great name, but I’ll leave that one to Peter, Ray, Egon and Winston.
If you would like to discuss this then please get in touch with me and leave your comments: