We’ve all read updates of people complaining that members of LinkedIn are posting Facebook-like posts on the professional platform.
We’ve all seen attractive females posting alluring pictures with thousands of comments – a mix of “inappropriate” or “you’re so pretty.” Naturally the guys who get drawn into the latter really have no idea how bad it makes them look, let alone the girls who think it’s ok to post these pics – if they are real people of course. (If you’re interested, this post Dear Women: We're Doing it Wrong. Show Skin--Not Skills handles that hot potato beautifully.)
Or a connection is proud that their kid has graduated from university after a hard slog. The parent is naturally thrilled about the achievement, and some friends are supportive, but the rest of LinkedIn says “no, not welcome here.”
We’ve also seen connections post cute animal pictures/videos, or they’ve shared religious views, whereby we quickly express our outrage – “not on LinkedIn thank you!”
The posts that concern me the most, though, are people wanting to walk away from LinkedIn because it’s not a good platform anymore. Too much self-promotion. Too much useless information. Too much nonsense.
And I agree. So much nonsense on LinkedIn today, but I don’t think walking away is the right thing to do. We’ve got to make it better, together.
I believe LinkedIn is an amazing platform, which is why I’ve been 100 percent committed to growing my LinkedIn presence for years. Yes, there’s a lot more nonsense going on, but I’ve developed the ability to filter it out:
- Pretty girl – ignore it or be entertained by the comments – it certainly gets feisty and breaks up a dull day ;)
- Pets, religious talk – I don’t approve, but I’m not going to act, you are just blanked from my awareness
- The rest - I just don’t care. I’m looking for useful information and if you’re a waste of my time, I’m gone. You don’t get a lot of chances these days to be honest – there’s just too much competition
- Overall, I don’t take it too seriously. You just can’t. I’ve seen people get so upset by all of this, but let it go and focus on being awesome yourself. That’s all you can do
So for the rest of us who love LinkedIn but are turned off by the narcissists, self-promoters, and basically, the idiots, let’s just ignore them and work together to build a platform that’s worth being part of.
My suggested strategy?
- Focus on being the best you on LinkedIn. Are you delivering information of value you know your audience will appreciate? Are you celebrating other’s in your community by engaging with them or praising them for a job well done? When was the last time you wrote someone a recommendation? I wrote a blog on the Giving Economy here
- Build stronger filters and blank out the nonsense. If you see someone participating on LinkedIn in a way you think is inappropriate, don’t comment, just click on their profile and remove them. It’s very easy to do that now. If they’re consistently stupid, they’ll learn quickly when their connections start dropping off
- Still getting an email inbox full of untargeted sales nonsense? Yeah me too and it’s making it impossible to keep track of the messages I actually want to read. So reply and challenge them – why did you send this to me? Did you review my profile first? I can guarantee 99% will not respond, but you won’t hear from them again either – bonus
- If you have connections you know personally who are participating inappropriately, talk to them. I believe you lead by example, but some people are pretty stubborn. It’s completely nonsensical to me that people can’t see their impact, so talk to them and help them be better. They won’t all hear you, but at least you tired. You can unfriend as needed. I really do believe we have shared responsibility on LinkedIn
- Be kind always. There is enough nasty stuff going on in the world right now and personally, I don’t differentiate between the terror of the world and people ripping each other to shreds on LinkedIn. Nastiness is nastiness. If you want to tear people apart, then maybe you shouldn’t be on social media. We need givers not haters here. Let’s make the world a better place while we’re playing this game – and it is a game, it’s all a game
Just a few thoughts there, but seriously, we are responsible for the success of LinkedIn – all of us. I certainly find it an interesting business model when your product is only as good as the people who are part of it, but that’s what social media is – it’s the collective of us.
LinkedIn have done an amazing job building a world-class content platform, and it’s only going to keep growing and evolving, but we have to play our part. That means we must all be focused on being fantastically awesome on LinkedIn – delivering value to our communities, lifting other’s up, and using it as it should be – a tool to build our dreams and make them come true. It’s powerful stuff.
There will always be idiots on the platform, as there are in life. Let’s stop engaging with them and start blanking them out. They’re not worth our time. The people who are giving every day are. I don’t want to walk away from them. Do you? Let’s focus on the great stuff, yes?
What do you think? How do you cope with the idiots? Any suggestions for making it collectively better?
Photo of a crowd courtesy of Shutterstock.
Please feel free to follow Andrea Edwards, The Digital Conversationalist, on LinkedIn, Twitter or on Facebook. Her blog is here. You can follow The Digital Conversationalist on LinkedIn here. The workshop showcase page is here, and this is the Facebook group, where we encourage conversation. Thanks for reading.