As we say goodbye to 2013, let’s resolve to bid adieu to the following social media blunders that annoyed many this past year.
1. LinkedIn endorsements. I can’t even count the times someone I don’t know endorsed me for a skill I don’t have. A common one I received in 2013 was endorsements for “litigation” when I haven’t practiced law since 2006—and, even when I did practice, I wasn’t a litigator.
Many novice LinkedIn users don’t realize they are annoying users by endorsing them; in fact, some may think they have no choice but to endorse users since LinkedIn displays the following screen encouraging them to endorse their connections (and, LinkedIn even recommends “skills” for endorsement). Please note that you can ignore this screen by clicking “Skip.”
Moreover, many law firms find the endorsements problematic because of the potential legal ethics violations. As a result, many firms prohibit their lawyers from giving or displaying endorsements. While you can’t opt out of receiving LinkedIn endorsements (maybe LinkedIn will change this in 2014), you can refrain from endorsing other lawyers and you can hide the endorsements you receive so they are not displayed on your LinkedIn profile.
2. Generic LinkedIn invitations. Throughout 2013, I received a significant number of LinkedIn invitations from people I did not know. I only accepted the invitations if the person included a note explaining why he or she wanted to connect or how we know each other. The generic LinkedIn invitation annoys many users—especially when they receive an invitation from someone they don’t know. If we’ve never met and you want to connect with me, please provide some background on why I should connect. In a previous post, I outlined sample customized invitations you could send when you are connecting with someone you don’t know.
3. Facebook profile pictures in a Graph Search world. Facebook launched its Graph Search in 2013. With Graph Search, potential employers or clients can search for “lawyers in Dallas” or “paralegals in Dallas” to find certain legal professionals in a specific market. With Graph Search, Facebook is also phasing out the privacy feature that allowed users to restrict who could find them through a Facebook search. Thus, every Facebook user is searchable. Your profile, however, can still be completely private if your settings are in place (for more info on how to check and control your privacy settings, click here). But, your profile picture is always visible to anyone so make sure it doesn’t embarrass you if a potential employer or client discovered it. It doesn’t need to be a professional picture—candid, casual photos are fine—just make sure it’s PG.
Best wishes for a successful, social 2014!