It’s been a few years since LinkedIn grew out its “online CV” shirt. Today, thanks to the possibility to share content in various formats, the platform allows individuals and organizations to strengthen their image, attract talents, and increase visibility. But recently, as more “keyboard cowboys” are discovering the social network, it started receiving criticism for not only having “serious and educational” content on it.
“She’s bragging again”, “They only talk about themselves”, “He’s jobless in real life, but an all-around expert on LinkedIn”, “I miss LinkedIn the way it was three years ago” – these are the kind of phrases I hear a lot from people who started using the platform way before it became cool.
The content is changing, and there are no strict rules
I can’t disagree with the comments above. It is obvious that the content on LinkedIn has changed a lot recently. On the other hand, there is still plenty of quality content here – one just needs to learn how to filter it. Why is this change happening? Although LinkedIn was founded before Facebook, for many years, only few people knew and actively used it. This is especially true in Lithuania and other Eastern European countries – LinkedIn was most popular among those who worked in the Western Countries or otherwise had business partners, clients, or other important contacts here. Once LinkedIn started encouraging creating content, and more official representatives appeared in different countries, more people started discovering it.
There is no rule about what kind of people should be on LinkedIn. That’s why we are seeing more insights from other areas rather than just business. Politicians, people working in the beauty industry, logistics, or building materials salespeople – everyone is sharing their experiences and relevant news now. For the old-timers who are used to only seeing business-related news, the new content can seem unusual and perhaps more fitting on other social networks. Yet again, there is no rule forbidding people from different fields of expertise to share their thoughts on LinkedIn. So, we must accept this shift as the natural evolution of the platform.
Just like there is no rule that would tell us from which fields people can use LinkedIn, there are no guidelines about what kind of content we should be posting.
Everything depends on presentation
There is a widespread stereotype that quality content equals educational content, which is mainly posts and articles on relevant topics. However, we can also create value by informing or inspiring others. In other words, the value we create with our content can differ. If one sees value in tips on choosing the best advertising agency, others might find the story of how an advertising professional overcame the fails and achieved success much more helpful. It is only natural that people – LinkedIn users in this case – are different, and so are their needs when it comes to content.
Referring back to professional bragging, it is really quite common on this platform – some are happy about their new job, others – a business they founded, or perhaps a course they just finished. Although some might perceive that kind of content as bragging, it depends a lot on how it is presented. Some might add personal experiences, share interesting statistics or tips to make that kind of posts useful to the readers. By sharing about a new position, we can not only create informational value to our network (“Oh, she’s started working in an accounting company, I’ll know whom to call”), but also help the company with its employer branding. Sharing about a new course one just finished can create informational value for potential employees and headhunters who are looking for a person with a certain skillset. In this context, we can really say “you can never know”, because we truly cannot say who will resonate with our post at the exact moment.
Which path should I choose?
Skeptical comments should not scare you away from creating content on LinkedIn because it is still the platform with the biggest ratio of effort to received benefits. It will remain the main channel for organizations to strengthen their employer brands. And internal influencers – employees – will contribute to this the most. Although we can’t yet tell how the algorithm of LinkedIn will change in the next few years, today’s organic audience reach, especially when posting from personal accounts, is still very attractive compared to other social networks.
There are many professionals who received job offers after sharing an informational message about finishing a course. Many people who work in talent attraction and actively communicate on LinkedIn see how this helps attract future candidates’ attention and spread the news about open positions. Many businesses have attracted clients with their educational content, sometimes even with positive, ad-like reviews.
So, is it worth it to become more active and create more content? It sure is. But you need to get ready to experiment. And remember – it is not a single-time effort but a long-term process.
You may find this article in the Lithuanian language here.