Tag Archives: Linkedin posts

Political Posts on Professional Sites?

Posting PoliticsBe Real About Your Intentions When Posting Politics

This week was Super Tuesday where I live in Virginia. The political climate is heating up and we have 8 more months before the next Presidential election. This  blog is my perspective on the expression of political views on social media. Like many Americans, I experience the intensity of radically different views on social media and long for a time when people could disagree without so much personalization and venom.  We hear blame for this adversarial climate laid on the media, the “other side”, movement toward extremism, or even a reflection of our declining civilization.  Regardless of the root cause, social media has become a welcoming stage to play out political drama.

Never before have average people had so much access to information (valid and invalid), and a free platform on which to express themselves to untold numbers of like-minded and vastly different people. For instance, it is common for those of us using Linkedin to have over 500 contacts in our network. I can’t imagine reaching 500 people, other than paid advertising or public speaking, any other way.  On Facebook, the viral effect involves not only the potential for hundreds of your closest friends seeing your posts, but also the contacts of anyone who shares your post, as well as your comments on other people’s or page’s posts can be seen by the multitude of their friends. It’s enough to make your head spin. But while our brains are revolving around this idea, our culture is evolving, or devolving as the case may be, before our eyes.

I used to caution business owners to avoid posting anything political or provocative on their social media sites, for the risk of alienating people who think differently.  Though I still believe this is sound advice, I get the impression a culture is developing that renders people dismissive of others’ views and overly righteous about their own positions. If this is true, people are less and less concerned about alienating others, even in a business is context. Clearly I am speaking of trends and culture shifts; there are a great majority of professionals who maintain a more neutral stance in their public voice.  However, I am seeing more evidence of personal positioning on professional platforms.

I’m seeing more political posts on professional platforms, like a recent Linkedin post had a bold endorsement of one of the Presidential candidates, complete with large photo and a clear attack on the “other side”.  Some people responded with support and others with a differing view. The dialog (such as it was) became snarky and futile. I had to wonder about the purpose and outcome of such a post. Some could argue that we are political creatures and to express our views makes us more human on these somewhat impersonal forums. Could be true, but how much of yourselves do you want to display to the world in a space that does not inherently encourage respectful discourse? When deciding to post something that may provoke negative responses, you may want to ask yourself if the content being shared is information that others would find beneficial, or is there an element of propaganda with the intention of eliciting support or criticism.

I don’t trust the flimsy ground of the internet to hold a space for true understanding.  Face to face,  person to person communication is where the sharp edges of conflict can best be smoothed. As humans we are wired to respond differently, more respectfully, in the presence of opposition. We tend to be more open and less aggressive and adversarial when we are engaged in personal communication. Political issues are highly personal and have become charged with a great deal of emotion. In an earlier post, In Support of Digital Civility, I advocate using social media, particularly on professional platforms, for sharing only content that adds value to others, refraining from comments on controversial posts, and take disagreements offline. I love social media, but one on one  is where we truly connect as real humans and not just a name with a profile, who can be shot down with a clever barb, or dismissed with the click of a mouse.

 

Getting Your Message out on Linkedin

Linkedin PublishingLinkedin Publishing

I’ve been focussed on Facebook for a while now – time to turn our attention to another platform where you and your business can shine. Linkedin has upgraded their publishing platform to allow a full article, an image, links, and tags. It is designed to highlight Linkedin member’s original content. This feature has not been made available to all Linkedin users yet, but it will be soon.

You will know if you have this option if you see “Publish a post” as another option next to “Share an Update”. When you click on this link a word processing feature will pop up and there you will be able to upload an image – strongly recommended, Write your headline – critical to capture the interest of your audience, and write the body of your article. You can hyperlink words and phrases to other URL’s and add tags at the bottom. Tagging your article assists Linkedin display your material to the right audience, and better allows members to find your post while searching categories.

The publishing feature is far more powerful than simply sharing an update. By displaying your entire work directly on the site, rather than a brief introduction and link to a blog, readers are more likely to get your entire message. The image, links, and tags also make the post more engaging and visible. This is a great opportunity to showcase your expertise and position yourself as an industry leader. Your published posts will be shown to you connections on their notifications tab. Even if they don’t read your material, you will be top of mind if you use this feature correctly.

Some things to keep in mind about Linkedin’s publishing feature

  • It is intended for original content. If you want to share an article of value to your audience, write a thoughtful and substantive introduction and summery, linking the article as a reference. This demonstrates your knowledge of the subject matters and shows more initiative than only sharing content from others.
  • Don’t use this feature to sell your products and services.  Posts that are heavily promotional in nature may be excluded and your account may be flagged. Just like with all forms of social media, think of giving before receiving.
  • Share your insights, advice, success stories, horror stories, and anything that can add value to those who are interested in your industry.
  • Linkedin will show distribute your article to the Linkedin members who are most likely to want to see it, based on their profile, interactions, and engagement on the platform. The higher the quality of the content you provide, the more likely you are to have your work displayed to greater numbers of people who are active on Linkedin.
  • Your article will be available through searches, not only on the Linkedin platform itself, but through online searches.
  • This is a great alternative for those who do not have a blog, but want to create their own content. Your posts can be shared in Linkedin groups, on other social media channels, or through email.
  • Remember to engage with others on their posts. By liking and commenting on the posts of people in your network, you reinforce your connection and increase the likelihood that they will think of you when your service is needed.
  • Be consistent. Commit to a regular posting schedule, write your articles, and publish routinely. I recommend publishing a unique post between 1/week and 1/month.
  • Focus on quality over quantity. Unlike blogs where SEO is a factor that drives article length, Linkedin and its members reward valuable content, even in small doses. Sometimes less is better.

I hope these Linkedin publishing tips have been of value to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or check the Linkedin Help Center for answers.