LinkedIn is a well-known online resume repository for individuals. Besides pages for potential job seekers, LinkedIn also offers the Company Page, which can be used to showcase a business, brand, products and services, as well as current job opportunities. The new company status updates, can be used like company press releases.
Although LinkedIn may seem innocuous enough, care must be taken when posting status updates to the website. After all, with print media, there is generally a high degree of management review required before the release of information regarding a company's internal status to the public. Unfortunately, the same care is often not taken with social media.
Some companies relegate social media updates to a college intern as an acknowledgement of the generation's natural facility with social media. Yet, these updates require the same review efforts to avoid problems down the road.
After all, it should never be assumed that information can be permanently removed from the web once it is posted, even if the actual post is deleted. Even if LinkedIn deletes the entry, the information might still be cached by websites like Google.
Some of the tools on LinkedIn can present challenges for businesses, whether they use the website or not. For example, common knowledge within the company can suddenly need to become proprietary, and yet the business' status updates combined with the detailed information often shown under employees' (or ex-employees') duties can provide minable information for competitors.
Knowing the expertise of key people on a technical staff can help a competitor to target a grant proposal more effectively. Moreover, if a company maintains a staff with skills that are highly in demand, especially for a specific product, and those people are linked to the company page as employees, LinkedIn can lose employees to headhunters.
Moreover, LinkedIn currently pigeon-holes each registrant's data, making it easier to mine and package detailed information about both employees and company for future unspecified purposes.
The bottom line is to proceed with care when utilizing social media, and to put status updates in well-trusted hands.