A Lesson Learned About Social Media

This week I joined a referral network on the recommendation of a friend. Right after joining, it asked me if I wanted to increase referrals by connecting with my LinkedIn network. They said it was a “simple, 20-second process” and without thinking, I spent the 20 seconds doing what it asked.

WRONG! Before I knew it, all 883 of my connections received a “generic” email from me that was flagged as a “phishing” or “spam” email. And that is exactly what it was! I received close to 100 emails from my friends warning me that my account may have been hacked, or simply wondering if it was really me who had sent the emails.

As someone who promotes personal emails above all else when communicating with valued colleagues, again I was mortified.

This was a wake-up call to me, and I wanted to give a heads-up to anyone else who may be considering connecting your LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter accounts to organizations like these. Don’t do it! It would be better to take extra effort to discriminate who might be interested in this sort of thing, then write a personal email of invitation to people with a detailed explanation of why it might be beneficial to them. By doing so you would demonstrate that you value the time of your friends and colleagues.

When asking to connect with someone on LinkedIn, I recommend that you include a brief reason why you want to connect, how you know the person, and how you might help each other.

I’d like to sincerely apologize to those who received my generic invitation to this program, and I have truly learned my lesson.

On the other hand, it was refreshing to receive so many personal responses from people who cared about me and wondered what I was trying to do. I value all my LinkedIn connections highly, and will be much more careful when communicating with them in the future!

One Response to “ A Lesson Learned About Social Media ”

    Starpointe Consulting

    May 21, 2020

    Thank you for this article Ginger!

    We find that our clients have conflicting experiences on social media. Some find it troublesome to compare themselves against other people or even challenging to look away. Others love the opportunity social media provides them to connect to people in a way they feel comfortable.

    Granted, we work with the ASD community so the nuance is probably a bit different than non-ASD people.

    Thanks for the blog, perhaps we could guest blog on each other’s website?


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