LinkedIn is NOT Facebook, STOP IT

More and more I see ridiculous posts/shares that really don’t belong on LinkedIn. It now represents a measurable amount of content on LinkedIn…and I see my network connections posting how those are inappropriate, etc. (which is how I see the original)…it is out of control when you look at the collective impact.

I do believe it’s great to personalize your brand, but professionally personalizing it and sharing silly mind games, “share when you see it” posts, how many triangles can you see, inappropriate political or opinion statements, photos of violence, and all the ridiculous things that are common now are crossing a line to lower the standard of LinkedIn.

Last week, there was a thread created by some “social media maven” (who has since been kicked off) that somehow ended up in my feed from someone in my network posting what an inappropriate post she made. She was insisting on posting a photo of herself half-clothed in front of a mirror wearing a fur coat and wondering how can she build a network on LinkedIn if she can’t post things like this?  Are you kidding me? Then she invited everyone over to start a new LinkedIn-like network…”come on guys, let’s leave this pop stand!”

LinkedIn is a business network…not the 2016 version of MySpace.  More and more I don’t accept connect requests because they are only thin attempts at getting access to send a sales pitch.  I look at everyone that sends me one, and the good thing is, the people that generally are connecting to send a sales pitch have a profile that screams “I’m about to send you a sales pitch!!” They are easy to spot and vet out.

While personalizing your posts can add some color to who you are and add some  dimension to your brand, it’s important to THINK before you post. We pay a LOT for LinkedIn. I have invested a lot for myself and my company to have a strong presence on LinkedIn. I don’t want to pay a premium to have my network’s feed clogged up with silliness and my content buried in junk.

Real professionals share great content, they skip the nonsense and add value to their network. I appreciate those posts! I want to create content that adds value to my network too. I appreciate the people I know, and I like to share content that gives them a shortcut to high-value information.

It isn’t that funny is bad, there was a great image last week I saw about how the Gartner Magic Quadrant is viewed by vendors, it was very smart and very funny. My clients loved it, as some of them are in the Magic Quadrant and the timing was perfect.

A good series of questions to ask before posting something can be:

  1. Does this add business value?
  2. Is this a good use of my network’s time?
  3. Am I building a better business relationship with this content?
  4. Does this content make people respect me (and my business) more?
  5. Should I save this for Facebook?
  6. What is the purpose of this?
  7. Will this alienate anyone?

A good rule of thumb that can be applied to everything is “If in doubt, throw it out.”  Which applies to literally everything. If you have to struggle to figure out if something is appropriate, post something else and use your time more effectively…..

If someone is lacking in content, there are apps out there like Social Champ or Bufferthat suggest great content to share. Even setting up Google alerts for your industry gives you good content to share.

To LinkedIn, 

Many of us pay a premium to use LinkedIn, and do so heavily. For a while we lost the ability to post anything, then a small number of executives and industry leaders were added to that and were allowed to post.  This allowed for thought-leaders to post high-value, well-constructed content. At that time, my content wasn’t buried in bad posts that are basically ads for products and pleas for customers.

Now you seem to have opened the floodgates of anything goes…what is the purpose of that? I hope there are plans to address this on your roadmap. This garbage content really diminishes the value of everyone’s content when it is buried in a stream of “see how strong your brain is” or “Wal-Mart shoppers” photos. 

Thank you…

MariAnne Vanella
About the author: 

MariAnne Vanella is the Chief Executive Officer of The Vanella Group, providing High quality, high touch engagement and telesales-based lead generation services for enterprise technology companies since 2001. Previously Ms. Vanella was the Vice President – Corporate Marketing for Cisco, and the Director – US Sales for both GeoTrain and PictureTalk.  Follow her on Twitter and on Linkedin.