Original article, published in the Tampa Bay Times
With so many social networks to choose from, it can be difficult for some to understand how to use each one appropriately. The two platforms that I see confused most often are LinkedIn and Facebook.
As a social media expert in charge of a staffing company’s social media presence, I see my connections making the mistake of posting “Facebook content” on LinkedIn regularly. Though this may not seem like a big deal to some, LinkedIn is a professional network meant to share professional content. I’ve listed three trends that have somehow found their way to unfamiliar LinkedIn territory and need to find their way back home to Facebook.
Oversharing Personal Health
An easy way to decipher the difference between whether a post is appropriate for Facebook or LinkedIn is to evaluate whether it has an emotional appeal. If it does, it probably doesn’t belong on LinkedIn. A trend of people posting about their personal medical issues has begun. These posts are a direct line to almost anyone’s emotions. While we all feel for these people and wish them to be healthy because we’re human, this is not something that should be shared on LinkedIn. Something as personal as this shouldn’t be shared at all, but for those who feel otherwise, stick to Facebook for topics regarding your health.
Political Jargon Overload
Another recent LinkedIn trend that’s been going on for quite some time is political-related posts. Things got real ugly during the Presidential Election in 2016, and some people took this aggression to LinkedIn. It’s an unspoken rule not to speak of politics at the office. The same rule should be applied when it comes to LinkedIn. You wouldn’t want to stir up controversy at work, so why stir up drama on LinkedIn where anyone can see it? Literally, anyone. Once it’s out there, it’s out there; The internet is unforgiving. It’s best to keep your political opinions to yourself versus sharing them online, especially a professional platform, simply to avoid confrontation.
Fact: Posts with photos receive more engagement than posts without. People love sharing their photos on social platforms, yet certain ones aren’t appropriate among allplatforms. We can no longer say LinkedIn is an unsuitable place for selfies. Brands have increasingly been encouraging customers to take selfies with their products to build brand awareness. Still, not all selfies are created equally. If you’re going to post a selfie on LinkedIn, please make sure it’s professional. Unless you’re a fitness advocate who’s trying to create a strong network, you shouldn’t be posting photos showing too much skin. Think of it this way: if you wouldn’t wear it to the office, don’t post it on LinkedIn.
The first amendment protects your right to post/share/voice whatever you feel. Keeping your personal medical issues, political beliefs, and overfriendly photos off LinkedIn is simply what I like to call “LinkedIn Etiquette”. Every social platform has a distinct purpose, but they all have the common goal of connecting friends, family, and professionals around the world. Before you share, be wary of who your audience is and whether they’re appropriate recipients of your post.