Getting sued: Social Media’s impact on traditional networking – please be careful.

In a 2011 paper in Employer’s Law, Johnathan Exten-wright expounds on the legal ramifications of being on Linkedin.

Recently, we were all in private uproar by US companies requiring Facebook log-ins.

In Flexman v BG Group, he was dismissed for posting his cv on Linkedin but then won the case.
Quite a few social media consultants are making a living drafting social media policies for companies. Some of these are getting into trouble for adding clauses that are illegal – but well-intentioned.
For those of us old enough to recall traditional networking as the only way – these are weird, modern and disjointed challenges.
First came the loss of interpersonal skills. I never realized this until recently I started attending networking sessions again. With an open rate of 67% on my newsletter, who could blame me for neglecting this aspect? But I should have known better..
Furthermore I lecture, so I should have felt really comfortable.
But I had lost those traditional networking skills and I was not even aware of it.
Worse – I thought everything was fine.
However, I had the misfortune (or fortune?) of attending 6 networking sessions last month.
Then, I took a step back and reviewed my performance. Simply put – I was a lot more comfortable and strategic on the last one that I had been on the first one.
I am not advocating we ditch social media networking here. Even if you are into B2B, you still need it.
It’s here to stay – last year Morgan Stanley did a $70M contract on social media according to an MIT publication.
Imagine the legal ramifications here. The physical contract would be several few inches thick!
Do you ever think of how you could get sued on how you have portrayed a past employer or B2B client on a Linkedin cv?
If most of the action is happening online, our focus is usually to have as much information as possible on that arena. If your business is like mine, sometimes you may not even need an actual face-face-face.

It used to be: we would just mention this information in casual conversations – making it considerably harder to be sued over claims etc.
But that is not going to stop us from using social media for networking.
Besides, I get most of my contracts on Linkedin and Facebook out of all places. My last three clients were all from Facebook. Then again, one might argue that I ‘do Social Media’ for a living. The obvious counter-argument is what stops any other business from establishing the same relationship in a different industry?
Furthermore, my largest contract remains one I initiated on Linkedin.

To be honest, I have yet to receive the same benefit from physical networking – for some elusive reason I persist..
Do you?
Comments please!

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