Once upon a time, LinkedIn was for finding jobs and connecting with professionals in your field. It was a professional social networking platform, but is it still? Yes, with even more opportunity to showcase your personal brand and business.
Most people post articles, career news, company updates, etc. But, some personal and other more Facebook type content, with a special emphasis on video, is making its way onto the platform, more prominently than ever.
Not that long ago, it would be all ‘business’, but now we’re seeing pictures from vacations, family photos, and some people are even putting “mom” in their headlines. Is this Facebookification, for lack of a better word, good or bad?
I’m in the ‘it’s good’ camp, but like anything, there are arguments to be made for both sides. Some experts say that a little personalization makes people more interesting. If you apply for a job and the hiring manager sees that you also love fishing like he or she does, it creates a personal connection -– rapport before you even have a conversation.
Can posts be too personal though? If you wouldn’t share certain posts with your colleagues or your clients, then think twice before you post on LinkedIn. Save politics, religion, and your weekend photos from your favorite watering hole for Facebook or Instagram. Better yet, don’t share them at all, especially if you have public profiles. Potential connections and employers are judging you on your content, even if it has nothing to do with your ability to perform a job.
The reason we’re seeing more personal content is that people are using Facebook less, and LinkedIn keeps growing exponentially. Recent studies from Hootsuite show that two people join LinkedIn every second. And in the last two years, Facebook use in the US has gone from 67 percent of the population to 61 percent.
The shift to LinkedIn isn’t surprising. The content is better, more relevant to its users, and LinkedIn appears to have a better algorithm than Facebook. When you post content, it’s checked for virality and humanness (less “fake news” and spam). The algorithm also looks at the quality of your network and how you interact with your connections to determine “top posts.”
So, just like everywhere else, engaging with your connections (audience) and posting valuable content (and images) that you think your network will actually care about and interact with is important.
LinkedIn sounds great, right? Less noise and more of what you’re interested in.
Your feed content is pretty customizable, too – more so than Facebook and Twitter. If one of your connections is posting annoying content, just like on Facebook, you can hide a post or unfollow someone, meaning that person will remain a connection, but you won’t see their posts anymore.
Under the little dot-menu on a post, you can also choose “Improve My Feed,” and LinkedIn will give you suggestions of similar users to connect with, and companies and hashtags to follow. LinkedIn is so committed to quality content, that it has an editorial staff of 65 journalists who write and curate great content for its users. And, they’re hiring more.
On Facebook, you can choose to view “top posts” or “most recent.” You can also do this on LinkedIn, but last time I checked, not its mobile platform. This is something that can definitely be improved because 57 percent of LinkedIn use is on the app. Personally, I get tired of seeing the same content on my mobile feed over and over again. Who cares about a post from 3 weeks ago. What was posted today?
What are the downsides to LinkedIn becoming more like other social networks?
First, there’s a lot more advertising. Ads used to be reserved for employers trying to get more attention on a job posting. But now, anyone can buy advertising as long as it’s legal and approved. This creates more noise, but on the flip side, more opportunity to get your product or service in front of a specific audience. Then there’s InMail, which also has it’s pros and cons. More on that later.
Ultimately, more posts lead to more junk. Even with its fancy algorithm, irrelevant content still makes its way into my feed and I’m not sure how that can be controlled. Perhaps the unfollow practice may become more of a routine. Then again, I’m interested in what people have to say — and if things get out of control, then I’ll take action.
All in all, for my liking and for reaching my ideal target market, LinkedIn is better than Facebook. At least for now. It has more relevant content, and honestly, just less garbage; (I hope I didn’t hurt your feelings, Facebook). I enjoy popping in and out on LinkedIn to stay up to date with what’s going on — and to see what my clients are up to. Plus, LinkedIn has amazing prospecting capabilities.
What about you? Do you see the shift in LinkedIn to be more Facebook-like and what’s your take? Keep in mind, nothing is perfect. Famous last words from a recovering perfectionist.