At least once a day as I am scrolling through my LinkedIn homepage, I come across a post that is better suited for Facebook or Instagram. As someone who teaches LinkedIn for a living, I can’t help but roll my eyes. There is a big difference between the two mediums and I always hear “well isn’t LinkedIn like Facebook except for business?” While LinkedIn and Facebook have very similar ideas and features (a home page, posting, messaging, friends/connections, etc.) they should be used very differently. So, here I am sharing a couple of tips and tricks you can use next time you are deciding where you should post that funny cat video or those awkward family vacation pictures that your kids didn’t want to take.
Politics: My typical rule of thumb and suggestion is to never ever post about politics, don’t reshare a CNN or Fox news article, don’t engage on other people’s posts about what the President ate for breakfast and why it’s wrong; just do not engage about politics on any form of social media. Ever. But, if you just can’t help yourself to share the latest news or Karen posted something you can’t fathom and you have to comment, keep the engagement short and sweet and on Facebook. LinkedIn is absolutely not the place to engage in any form of politics and in this political climate where people are so quick to cut ties with anyone they don’t agree with, I cannot stress enough that it can affect your professional reputation.
If you have an article/current post that is about the economy or anything relating to the business world, that is safe for LinkedIn. Write a short snippet about how someone can use your business to help prepare for the changing economy, or how you can help them stay up-to-date with social trends— whatever it may be that is appropriate for LinkedIn.
Family: Just like politics, and I cannot stress this enough, save it for Facebook. Facebook is meant to share all about your extravagant vacation to Italy, your daughter making Dean’s List, your son’s lacrosse game, etc. Facebook is a place for family and friends to congratulate you, send advice and recommendations when you need a new plumber or a new vet for Fluffy.
There are a couple of exceptions when it comes to family posting on LinkedIn. Some examples are if you work at your family business, if you are congratulating a family member on a new job or promotion, or if something happens to your child and you can turn it into a valuable business lesson. Other than that, leave it for Facebook.
Job Listings: I have seen time and time again and mostly with young professionals a job listing on Facebook. If you are looking for a housekeeper or babysitter Facebook is the place but anything beyond help in your home should be put on LinkedIn, after all, it is a professional network.
Inspirational videos: Nowadays my Facebook is just flooded with tasty videos and inspiring stories. Keep the tasty videos on Facebook (I don’t need that temptation during my workday anyway) but inspiring videos about a homeless woman who started their own company or a reminder to keep going is always nice, especially during the 2 p.m. slump. Keep it business-related and professional.
Cat Videos/ Memes/ GIFs: Facebook. Please.
You can use LinkedIn to congratulate an acquaintance or wish someone a Happy Birthday in your messaging center, but everything on LinkedIn should remain in a professional manner. At Intero, we have dogs in our office almost daily and sometimes they make our Instagram or company page, that’s okay! Professional does not mean boring. It can be fun and light-hearted and still professional. Post a funny picture of your dog sitting at your desk on LinkedIn but keep the video off your cat drinking out of the toilet on Facebook…see the difference? 🙂