Social endorsements to a colleague or provider could be killing their credibility.
LinkedIn social endorsements have been around for sometime now. The hope was to provide a convenient place for professionals to identify skill sets and give kudos to those in their network who excelled in them. Great idea, kinda like Kloutbut not really. More direct and in the form of an endorsement rather than engagement and the endorser assigns the skill set. We at TEEM saw the red flags out of the gate.
Arbitrary, no criteria for what competencies might be included.
- Wholly solicitable. Ask you shall receive.
- A commodity used to barter for endorsements and recommendations.
- Pop-up driven compelling you to endorse when that was not the purpose for coming to your profile.
The list goes on. From its introduction LinkedIn endorsements have been questioned as to the value of such an open and unmanaged endorsement platform. Where TEEM, LLC and I personally find the real rub is knowing the shortcomings of the process, users continue to endorse for skills the endorsed makes no claim to have or have relevance at all. This puts the endorsed in several uncomfortable positions. Likely the most perilous not knowing you’ve been endorsed for a skill set you never had and then being asked with some expectation of your authority on the subject. Most of us are savvy enough to avoid the pitfall of trying to answer, however some are not. Damage done.
Now, we may have been a little over dramatic in our urgency of this matter. Few if any businesses are going to go out of business over a LinkedIn endorsement. The real point here is, there is great power in social media if harnessed correctly. As businesses in the digital world, we have the power and the ability to make social work for us if we just know how to work it. Beware of false endorsements, raves and require little effort or thought on the part of the contributor or are arbitrary in nature and can be used as a bargaining chip.
LinkedIn, we hate to say it, your endorsements cheapen your platforms reputation and sometimes your users along with it.
Jim Earl – Jim is the co-founder and CEO of @TeemLLC. Jim’s experience included spending several years developing an understanding of the social and digital media environments that has become the foundation for what is today Total Exposure Entertainment Marketing, LLC.