LinkedIn may be considered social media, but really it should be called professional media. While having a profile on LinkedIn enables you to share thoughts, ideas, and experiences, what you share needs to be a reflection of your professional self, with only a touch of your social self.
Posting on LinkedIn increases your visibility and the reach of your profile, but only if you do it right.
Let this be a reminder, anything you ever like, comment, or post, can be seen by every single one of your connections. And if someone in your network likes or comments on that, then it is visible by every single person in their network. It would not take long for a single like to find its way around the world.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when posting on LinkedIn:
Post-it: Generally speaking, these are the best reasons to post on LinkedIn:
- Professional accomplishments
- New ideas or inspiration that relate to work life
- New development in your career or in the market
- Industry announcements or trends
- Job postings
- Professional events that you are attending or promoting
Experts recommend posting a few times a week, but no more than once per day. If it doesn’t fall into any of these categories, it may be better suited on a different platform.
Remember your R’s: Post articles. It’s a quick and simple way to engage with your connections, as long as you remember your R’s: Recent, Relevant, and Reliable.
Did you know you can create your own posts? Share your expertise with the world, just remember to keep it Recent, Relevant, and Reliable. Don’t underestimate the power of your perspective.
Make sure outside articles and sources you post are coming from a reputable, professional source. For maximum engagement, include a quick sentence on why you find the article interesting, or one of your personal insights.
Pro-tip: People love to interact and share ideas, so pose a question at the end of your post. Ask a question that can lead to more than a yes or no answer; it has to get the conversation going. For example, you can say, I find it interesting that this expert discusses x and y as the driving factors, what have you found in your experience? Now the conversation is flowing and you’re learning from your connections.
Own it: When posting, make sure you monitor your post appropriately. Don’t check it every 5 minutes, but be sure to correspond with those who comment or like in a timely manner. If someone is acknowledging your post, acknowledge them – engagement goes both ways.
A quick “Like,” a “Thank you,” or “Totally Agree” can go a long way. Reciprocity is key.
But (Still) Beware the 5 B’s: We’ve discussed the 5 B’s when it comes to office friendships, and the same rules should apply when posting on LinkedIn.
1. Better Half: Unless you’re connecting your significant other with one of your online connections, or highlighting a professional accomplishment — there’s really no need to post about them or your relationship. No anniversaries, no wedding photos.
2. Booze: it’s no secret that your crazy weekend stories have no place in the office, and there’s no place for them on LinkedIn.
3. Barack: Politics are a sensitive subject for a lot of people, and can lead to heated arguments quickly. Quite simply, it’s just unprofessional to discuss in a professional space.
4. Bucks: discussing your salary publicly on LinkedIn is a big no-no. This may scare away potential employers.
5. Beliefs: For many, religion, or lack thereof, is a very personal topic, and it should remain personal. Avoid religious posts, even if they are positive.
If you wouldn’t bring it up in front of your boss, don’t bring it up on LinkedIn.
Picture It: NO. SELFIES. EVER. NEVER EVER EVER. You wouldn’t stop a coworker as they walk down the hall to show them a selfie you took in your car, so don’t post it on LinkedIn.
Posts that include a photo will get more attention, but the photo must be appropriate. If you won an award or attended an exciting professional event, by all means post.
However, you must make sure you still uphold professionalism, outfits included. That means no photos of you in a bathing suit poolside at a conference, or in any other outfit you wouldn’t wear to the office.
You may be saying, “but the posts that violate all these rules are the ones who get the most Likes and Comments,” and that’s true. But don’t try to go viral for the sake of going viral. You shouldn’t be posting for Likes, you should post to educate and share ideas with your connections. Meaningful connections will always beat Likes.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, don’t let yours be unprofessional.
For tips on getting the perfect LinkedIn photo, see our infographic here.