I get it. You’re pressed for time. You’ve got lots to do. You can’t be bothered. Whatever your excuse, here are 3 Types of LinkedIn Posts You Should Avoid Writing.
1 The Humble Brag
These are easy to spot. They all begin with “I’m thrilled to…” or “I’m very excited to…” or “I’m humbled to…” usually followed by the announcement of some kind of recognition or career achievement. I’m thrilled to be on stage among Chicago’s top business leaders. I’m very excited to be named among the Top 40 under 40. I’m humbled to receive the award for Digital Grand Poobah.
This type of statement must have its roots in old school press releases, where every quote attributed to an executive began with “I’m very thrilled to announce that…blah blah blah.” I probably saw hundreds of these while working as a journalist in the mid 90s and then later while working in corporate communications.
I know. This is LinkedIn. Celebrating career achievements or even outright bragging are par for the course. Just try to do it in a less clumsy, clichéd manner.
What to do instead: rather than make it just about you, place your role in a wider, more relevant context. Example: “Saving our oceans should be the top priority. That’s why XcompanyX created this campaign to highlight the threats posed by single-use plastic. Thank you, 4As Creative Circle for recognizing our message by giving us the award for…”
2 The Say Nothing
Sharing links to interesting articles we’ve read (or articles we think will make us look clever) on LinkedIn is, and should, be part of every LinkedIn user’s activity. It’s what ensures you remain present on other people’s news feeds. It creates opportunities to interact with like-minded peers. It keeps the community alive.
But when you share a link, make sure you say…something. Don’t just post a link to an article or video, without any indication as to what you thought of it. And, no, copying & pasting the article headline doesn’t count. That just looks lazy.
As I’ve said many times in previous posts, you have to have an opinion. It demonstrates you have given the content some thought and that you have authority on the subject matter.
What to do instead: Tell us whether or not you agree with the article. Do you support its arguments? Do you have an insight to add from your own experience? Is there anyone in your LinkedIn network who might concur or have an opposing opinion? Example: “Creating a work culture where employees feel like they have to work themselves to the bone helps no one. Certainly not your brand. XnameX (tagged), we were just talking about this yesterday. What do you think?”
3 The Cult of Personality Meme
You’ve seen this a hundred times at least: that image of an iconic business leader / historical figure (Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Jack Ma are among the most popular) with his immortal words dramatically emblazoned next to him. Maybe you discovered it on your news feed and it inspired you. Maybe it moved you. And so you decided to post it on LinkedIn, hoping to inspire others.
What’s wrong with that? Nothing, really. Except that everyone does it. And while that practice might not be wrong in and of itself, it doesn’t really contribute to establishing yourself as a thought leader or say anything about you (other than the fact that you are so easily impressed).
Worse, many of these immortal quotes are mis-attributed or historically inaccurate. (For example. the definition of “insanity” as “doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result” is univerally attributed to Albert Einstein. Except there’s no historical proof he ever actually said or wrote those words!) There is a very real danger that by sharing these memes, you are contributing to fake news. And that’s never a good look.
Other versions of this include business insights inspired by nature, dodgy science, inaccurate accounts or other fables. I recently shared some of the most commonly shared myths distributed on LinkedIn.
What to do instead: share your own insights! Don’t tell me you don’t have them. You’ve got lots of experience. You’ve had lots of learning experiences over the years. Why not share one of the lessons you’ve learned? Don’t ever tell yourself your observations don’t count.
What other types of LinkedIn posts should people avoid?