Be careful online

THIS week I was asked to give a short talk to some MBA students. The topic of my talk was the use of social media and social networks in your business. One of the things that I believe are very important is that through social networks you can get recommendations from friends. It could be a website that they suggest you visit or it could even be a recommendation of a book or car that they think you may be interested in.
The whole idea of word of mouth is an important feature of social media and networks and in business you can  easily  use  this  referral system to improve your company’s bottom line. Obviously there are many ways in which you can do this, but I think something that struck me was that one or two of the students noted that you should not necessarily believe everything that you read online. I agree completely, and that is why I highly recommend that as in life, you also choose your online friends carefully.
On some social networks you can have thousands of followers or friends and you should always ensure that if you were to visit websites or purchase  products  that  are recommended by your online community that you are sure that it is safe and trustwor-thy.
You cannot just follow a random stranger’s recommendations blindly without thinking about the consequences. Word of mouth is a great  way  of  finding  great products and services, but make sure that you know the intentions of the source.
The web is a wonderful place and through social networks you will have great experiences online. Do not be afraid to explore this online environment, just be careful.