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5 Things You Must Know Before Sharing Absolutely Anything on LinkedIn

If you work in a B2B industry, then you must be active on LinkedIn. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are great for reaching the end consumer, LinkedIn is where businesses serving other businesses really stand out. However, on the platform somewhat erroneously considered “the more professional version of Facebook,” posting the wrong type of content can hurt you professionally in a way that the mixed-professional-personal platforms generally do not allow.

Before you begin any content strategy on LinkedIn and before you even share anything else on that platform, read this article to find out just what you should and should not be posting.

1. LinkedIn readers take your preference statements personally.

You think because LinkedIn is more professional, people will not be as affected by your personal input and commentary on a topic. The reverse is actually true.

While you are less likely to end up in a nasty, troll-fueled political debate on LinkedIn, people still draw a lot of the same conclusions about you that they would on any other platform. They are just less likely to call you names in public.

You must remain personable but professional on LinkedIn to retain your viewership.

2. LinkedIn users and the platform favor short links.

This may seem like a given to some marketers, but many LinkedIn users running their own content strategies on the platform do not realize that they need to shorten their links. After all, it’s not Twitter!

Your links will look more professional and your readers will be less likely to be distracted before they click that link if you use a URL-shortener like Bitly to create a somewhat anonymous link that may be posted at the top of your post without distracting from your commentary on the post.

Note: There are some internet marketers that say even short links should be descriptive. However, if you are not expert in this field, you are likely to do more harm than good.

3. Sharing is caring on LinkedIn.

On other social media platforms, too much sharing of other, existing content can hurt your ability to reach your audience. That’s because the platform may penalize you if it appears, based on any number of algorithms of course, that you are sharing things somewhat indiscriminately. This particularly becomes an issue on Facebook if your audience does not interact with your shares reliably and in volume.

However, on LinkedIn, sharing relevant industry news and research is a great way to curry favor with the platform. In fact, some users are considered influencers and leaders (and therefore get more eye-time with viewers) because they share such relevant content. When sharing on LinkedIn, be sure you are on-message for your industry, then share away.

4. LinkedIn users like memes in moderation.

Post a bunch of crazy Miley Cyrus memes on LinkedIn and you will probably end up with fewer connections at the end of the day. However, a tasteful, professional, industry-relevant tip or a credible motivational observation with a graphic can go a long way.

For example, “Shark Tank” shark Daymond John often posts graphics that simply include quotes relevant to doing business, such as “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” (Napoleon Bonaparte). Along with the graphic, John adds a one-line observation of his own at the top. His audience often shares these graphics, likes them, and even comments on them.

This quick, easily digested content is the right type of “meme” for LinkedIn.

5. It’s OK to be human, but keep things professional.

LinkedIn ismore professional in nature than other social media platforms, and many users keep their profiles limited to a resume and a few links in order to retain that professional feel. That is a great use for the platform if you are using it solely to build your professional reputation. However, if you are building a business on LinkedIn, it’s OK to be human — just not too human.

Keep the pictures of your gorgeous family beach vacation and your (adorably, of course) drooling grandbaby on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On LinkedIn, if the grandbaby is in evidence it should be because said baby was attending a business event or is somehow directly related to your industry, topic, and message. “She’s so cute” is not adequate in 99 percent of cases, so resist!

However, if you want to take a picture of yourself with your children at an industry conference where they learned how to start at ground zero in a family business, that is very different and gives your LinkedIn audience a clear view into your values and how you run your business. That can be a good thing!

If writing content for LinkedIn intimidates you, that is OK. It just means you respect the platform, and this platform requires a little more respect than some others might.

Working with a professional content creator could be the key to getting a strong foothold on LinkedIn. The important thing is to get that foothold and then start climbing. In a B2B business, this could make or break you.