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If Only Congress Better Understood Inbound Marketing...
By: Christine Geraci
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And now for the latest addition to the list of things that should baffle and disappoint us all....
 
The majority of our U.S. Congress sees nothing wrong with employers demanding the social media account passwords of potential hires.
 
On March 29, the U.S. House of Representatives voted down an amendment to the Federal Communications Commission's privacy law that would have made it illegal for employers to ask for social media account login information from employment candidates.
 
Although this doesn't kill the measure, it does say a lot about our elected officials' understanding of inbound marketing and social media. 
 
For instance: Anyone running to obtain or keep a seat in Congress is essentially applying for a job from the public. So, if most members of Congress think it's OK for employers to demand social media logins from potential employment candidates, then it stands to reason they wouldn't have a problem serving up their own social media login information to their employer: the American public. 
 
Now, I highly doubt any member of Congress would be crazy enough to make their social media account logins public. That, at least, is reassuring. 
 
At the same time, it should make you wonder if these people ever pay attention to the staffers running their social media presences. I'm willing to bet they don't.
 
If they did, they would know that an employer can find out all he or she needs to know about a potential hire by looking at what that candidate makes public via social media.
 
If an employer wants a candidate's social media login information, that employer does not yet fully grasp inbound marketing. It's especially frightening if said employer wants the login info for a candidate applying to a job that will include a lot of social media work. Why? 
 
An employer should be connecting with potential candidates naturally via social media. A candidate who connects with a company or organization via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., is inherently saying "I want to see what you're up to, as well as show you what I'm about." Even if there's no social presence for candidates to connect to, that doesn't mean the employer is out of luck.
 
What a candidate makes public says a lot about their professionalism. If the candidate publicly shares lewd or compromising photos, goes on political rants, uses foul language, or bashes their current employer, that candidate doesn't understand the concept of privacy settings — a key red flag. Conversely, if a candidate publicly shares relevant information, boasts an engaged following, and actively participates in online discussion, that candidate should score some serious brownie points.
 
Sooner rather than later, I'm willing to bet this controversy goes away. More employers are beginning to more comprehensively understand social media tools, as well as the fact that inbound marketing is systematically replacing more traditional methods of marketing and advertising
 
If only we could say the same about Congress. 


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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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