But one thing that companies need to understand before jumping onto the social media bandwagon is that social media is different from other online or traditional media. Social media is a sacred space. You get it right and you build long lasting customer loyalty. But if you get wrong, it is very hard to undo what you just did.
I recently came across this article on the Harvard blog about Hiring Smarter with Social Media (http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2009/07/hire_smarter_with_social_media.html). While some of the ideas are good, I was astounded to read the following:
You can strike a balance by asking prospects to friend you for a limited time (24 or 48 hours) on any social network where they're personally identifiable, so you can see how they present themselves online and make sure there aren't any examples of bad judgement or online comments that could come back to haunt you (for example, griping about one of your clients).Oh my god! A company who listens to this advice is not only limiting the pool of potential applicants but also exposing them to lawsuits related to discrimination. The info I share with my "friends" via Facebook or other such sites includes personal information that you would NEVER ask in an interview such as marital status, religious beliefs/affiliations, political views, etc.