It is interesting how people define business on LinkedIn...

The following is the original and the rewrite can be found by clicking here.

"It's only Tuesday and I am having such a great work week. Enjoy everyone!"

"Sorry, but I am having difficulty understanding the context of this message as it applies to LinkedIn. Is it not better suited to Facebook and your friends who might care?"

"Thank you for your comment <name removed>. The context of my post is everyone can identify with how their work week is going and this is part of my social media strategy, as this is a social media platform. I'm a visual merchandiser so hence the engaging visual and hey, it's summer"

"LinkedIn is a business networking site. This is not an outlet for 'how peoples <sic> work week is going'. It is about education and insight NOT Fluff."

I will say with full disclosure that this post and exchange is real, and the person who made the initial post is my daughter; as you may appreciate I am working really hard to be constructive with what I'm about to say. (Add "winky face" emoji... unless you are reading this on LinkedIn, then please disregard as I understand it's for business only.)

I initially found out about this when my daughter sent me a text explaining she was a little upset. I will admit it took me a moment to suppress my fatherly instinct to PROTECT and DEFEND but quickly settled into a more "constructive mindset". My daughter is a very capable and industrious young lady so after a quick discussion I left her to her own devices. I then did what any good father would do; I stalked the person on LinkedIn.

He is an executive sales professional with extensive experience, solid picture and a face that commanded authority... all very credible.

Just then I happened to see one of his posts in my stream (as it was shared by a mutual connection); I just rolled my eyes and smirked as I realized what it was. This "genius" <insert sarcasm>, who called out my daughter for working her social media strategy and not understanding the LinkedIn channel, had just posted one of his company's product banner ads (without even bothering to add any personal content). Any credibility regarding this person's insight into "how to and how not to" use LinkedIn (and social media in general), evaporated.

A Question...

"How is my daughter's post on "How her work week is going" any different than this "genius's" banner ad post for office furniture?"

It isn't any different... other than my daughter's content was more socially engaging and arguably more aligned to the channel. What I find fascinating is how people take on the role of content police based on their interpretation of what business is (which I might add seems to be aligned with their domain expertise)... "Based on what I know about business and what I think LinkedIn is all about, I deem this inappropriate content and should be stopped!"

For the sake of argument and moving this along, let's say business is defined as the "building of relationships that directly or indirectly lead to revenue generation"... deliberately broad, but no less accurate I will wager. If your content is engaging, connects with people and supports the building of relationships with an end game to generate revenue (same as income) then it's business appropriate.

But is it appropriate for LinkedIn?

I guess it depends on what your social media strategy is (as part of your broader business strategy).

For my daughter who was looking for a job and developing her domain expertise as a visual artist, LinkedIn was just one of many channels that included her website, Instagram and Twitter to bring a holistic message to the market; for the genius who started all of this, I suspect LinkedIn is something he uses between meetings to pass the time.  

LinkedIn, like all social media channels is just a tool to be used as part of a larger strategy; I would like to suggest spending much more time learning how to use social media channels, optimize content you drive through the various channels, ensure it's aligned with your strategy, and stop spending any time questioning the business relevance of other people's posts. 

Look, if you don't like what you see in your stream scrub your connections or block those who just don't align with the content you want to see... if it's really, really bothering you, switch to a more affinity based platform like beBee where you can choose your interests.

Just have a strategy because if you don't, it doesn't really matter how you define business content.


PS: It didn't take my daughter long to get a job, thanks in part to her efforts on LinkedIn.

PPS: Left to her devices my daughter "blocked" the executive because she saw little value in what he was saying. I wonder if he knows?