There are a few post types that users need to stop sharing on LinkedIn.
I’ve been using LinkedIn for a pretty long time, and in that time I have had quite a bit to say about it. But one thing that the network simply can’t control is what users decide to post. Sure, there are guidelines and of course there are certain inappropriate posts that the network can take down. But, in the end, there are some pieces of content that have no business whatsoever being on the network, and yet there they are. These are three of the types of content that users need to stop sharing on LinkedIn if they want to be taken seriously.
This might not seem immediately obvious to some (for whatever reason) but the fact is that politics really shouldn’t have a home on a LinkedIn news feed unless, of course, you work in the field. Let me explain.
One’s political disposition is very personal, and for those that have strong political beliefs, you are more than encouraged to share those where and when it is appropriate. But in this election cycle in particular, we are seeing just how divisive politics can be (and with the speed of information, we are seeing that on an international scale). Politically-fueled content that has absolutely nothing to do with your brand, professional position, or industry shouldn’t find its way to LinkedIn. That is not what the network is for, and while it may showcase beliefs about which you feel very strongly, it doesn’t reflect all that positively on you from a professional standpoint.
Again, this is not to say that you shouldn’t feel comfortable sharing your political views wherever they are appropriate, but LinkedIn is not one of those places. Unless you work in the field of political commentary and are sharing business relevant political content, personal stances and politically-charged content that in no way connects to your professional life should be left to other networks where it is more appropriate.
Do yourself and those around you that favor.
Pleas for Investment
It might sound like a joke but, believe it or not, I see this constantly on LinkedIn. The most recent example was in the form of a personal plea for cash in order to assist with the transport of a body out of a foreign country. You read that correctly; someone turned to LinkedIn to ask for ‘investors’ (their words, not mine) to help them with the transport and arrangement of a family member that had died while on vacation. I know I probably don’t need to say it, but this is wildly inappropriate.
Now, assuming this was, in fact, true (though since they were asking for minimum ‘investments’ of $10,000, I highly doubt it) it’s an unfortunate situation. But unless you’re raising money for a new venture, a plea for cash on LinkedIn isn’t a best practice. In fact, even when you’re raising money, a LinkedIn post isn’t really the most professional way of going about it.
Again, LinkedIn is a professional network and intended to house content related to one’s professional life. So, while this situation was one of the more extreme cases I’ve seen, I have seen a few personal, direct requests for funds on LinkedIn, which is a major faux pas.
Much like the politically-charged content, the only faith-oriented content that should appear are posts about professional inspiration (which might have religious undertones) or content related to your faith-oriented professional position. Otherwise, LinkedIn is not a place to share personal content. That’s really the more universal lesson here. When it comes to LinkedIn, the only content that should make its way into your feed is content related to your industry, role or professional skills.
As I mentioned, there are certain cases where personal stories or inspirational/motivational content has faith-oriented subtext. So long as it fits in with your professional history/path, then it is certainly an appropriate piece of content to share to your professional network. But, again, when there is no affiliation, better to keep your personal beliefs on networks where it makes more sense, like Facebook or Twitter.
BONUS: The Word ‘Guru’
I have talked about this in the past. People are tired of seeing the word, it makes absolutely no sense (never did) and anyone who refers to themselves as a ‘guru’ of any sorts probably isn’t. After all, they’re using a term like ‘guru’ to describe themselves. So, if you still tout yourself as a guru, quietly head over to LinkedIn and remove the term from your profile.