Either there has been an increase in the number of LinkedIn Police or I am just noticing it more this week.
The LinkedIn Police are individuals who have appointed themselves the authority and voice of reason instructing the LinkedIn universe on LinkedIn etiquette such as:
1. “LinkedIn is professional and for business”
2. “LinkedIn is not Facebook”
3. “Do not post personal pictures, word hunts, math problems that only a genius could answer, memes, cute pictures of their dogs/kids and personal notices”
4. Or publicly denounce and shames other individuals who have utilized messaging to hit on them
Yes, LinkedIn is a business-driven platform. It is a venue to create and strengthen networks and business alliances.
Yet, let us not forget the one fundamental rule of networking and alliance building – it is built on relationships.
Relationships take time, effort and energy to develop. It is a process of building trust, finding synergies, understanding and discovering traits, characteristics, value and individuality in the other person. Relationships are people getting to know each other.
Throughout my professional career I have developed wonderful personal friendships and business friendships. I know the distinction and that is why I do not connect with business friends on Facebook. That is my personal platform. That is my choice.
I know others that connect with their business friends on Facebook or share their personal status updates on LinkedIn for their friends and business friends that is their choice.
My brand is defined and executed by me. As is everyone else’s brand on LinkedIn.
I am a Brand Strategist, therefore I am very well aware of the etiquette rules of LinkedIn. I help people define and communicate their brand. I have not had the opportunity to reach everyone on LinkedIn, so let’s cut them a break. I am working on it.
Although I do not post any of the hand-slapping items listed in item three above, when I see the offender updates I do one of two things:
1. I chuckle and keep scrolling
2. I simply keep scrolling
I also work through the math problems in my head just for the internal smug satisfaction of being a math genius.
There is also an option on the top of the status with a small arrow pointing down that allows you to choice either “I don’t want to see this” or “unfollow name”
I agree, using LinkedIn to try to get a date is icky; but instead of publicly shaming individuals that do so, I delete the messages. Less energy given and problem solved.
LinkedIn is an integral part of the branding work I do with clients – creating individual profiles, teaching seminars, training corporate teams on strategy and implementation – yet, I am not going to join the LinkedIn Police.
No one is going to stop posting cute puppy pictures on LinkedIn because I publicly denounce them. They would probably scroll past that status update just as I scroll past their word search update.
And let’s face it, if one had the power to change other’s minds or get them to do something just because one posted it on LinkedIn – would it not be more useful to use this power for a much greater gain other than to stop potentially annoying others with the burning question of what is the first word you see?
If I had that power, I think I would use it in a different way, perhaps:
1. Adopt a fur-baby from your local animal shelter
2. Donate your time or financially to a cause near and dear to your heart
3. Be a mentor, Big Brother or Big Sister
4. Be nice to your kids, significant other, parents, friends, family, coworkers
5. Get involved in your community
6. Stop world hunger
7. End homelessness
8. Eradicate cancer
9. Eliminate illiteracy
10. Do a good deed today without expecting reward or recognition
11. Forgive yourself and others
12. Go after your dreams
13. Enjoy the day
14. Eat that piece of cake
15. Love yourself
16. Stop judging yourself and others
17. Accept your flaws and the flaws of others
18. Learn something new
20. Or hey, if I wanted to be selfish: hire me!
If the LinkedIn Police are going to try to stop all the ‘unprofessional’ personal status, they might start trying to eliminate the really good ones. I like some of those personal updates. It allows me to see the person, not just the brand. They share events that are important to them.
Some of these posts share the joy of personal successes – from achieving a long standing personal goal to family member’s successes and even announcements of their child’s remission.
I will take 100 word searches every day to see one child in remission.
Many articles, tips and experts emphasize engagement is key to networking, okay, so these types of posts are not ideal; however, they are the product of someone trying to engage. I do not know of one person who posts these just to annoy the heck out of anyone else.
The LinkedIn Police may not be able to stop these no-no updates; but they do have a choice: unfollow, remove from their feed, do not do business with this person or ignore.
Since I have probably upset the LinkedIn Police and will be getting nasty grams for this, I might as well go one step further….
If you know, personally know, a person who is posting these offensive things – why don’t you personally reach out instead of publicly condemn? Why not have a conversation and ask them, “So tell me, friend, because your business is important to me – what’s your thought in posting the ‘only a genius math problem’?”
Perhaps an educational, supportive conversation will help them see that there is a better way to connect with their audience. Or, maybe they are trying to narrow down their network to geniuses.
Oh, and for the cherry on top – here is a picture of my boys,
just because they are so darn cute.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about Career Polish
and what we can do to help you.
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