Don’t Engage Them!

Internet Police, Internet Police BadgeLet me preface this post by stating that I am not the Internet Police.  I don’t claim to be, nor do I aspire to be.  Rather, I have opinions about what I see online each day, and you know what they say about opinions . . .  ;-)

One of my two biggest social media pet peeves is when individuals or businesses continually fail to customize the message for the medium.  Whether it’s out of laziness or ignorance, it’s like nails on a chalkboard.  You wouldn’t strip the audio file from a television commercial to create a radio commercial.  Why then, would a tweet make a good Facebook post (or visa-versa)?  I’m not condemning the casual user who occasionally cross-posts an Instagram picture to Facebook or Twitter.  I’m referring to businesses that fail to adjust their message to the platform as part of their strategic marketing plan.

My second pet peeve is when individuals or businesses continually fail to follow the etiquette for the social media platform being used.  However, this pet peeve has started to dissipate for me.  Over the years, many of the social media platforms have borrowed aspects of other platforms as a way to expand their presence and take business away from their competition.  Do you remember when the only place to find #hashtags was on Twitter?  Now it’s seemingly present across all platforms.  The lines have become so blurred that etiquette for each platform, in some instances, has also become blurred.

As an example, let’s look at LinkedIn.  Once LinkedIn started to encourage rich media sharing in its platform, that changed the rules of “acceptable” posts.  Is a meme acceptable to post on LinkedIn?  Is it only acceptable if it’s work-related?  But what if the person who shared it has a job outside of the corporate, cubicle-farm world?  Can a pediatrician with a LinkedIn profile share a funny picture or meme that’s about parenthood?  After all, to the pediatrician, it’s work-related.  Can a mathematician with a LinkedIn profile share one of those tricky math puzzles?  Can a chef with a LinkedIn profile share a food picture of her latest creation?  What’s inappropriate or anti-etiquette for one could make perfect sense for another.  The growth of LinkedIn over the years has given rise to an even greater variety of careers and professional interests.

If you’re a member of the Internet Police and still despise all of those posts that many deem “inappropriate” for LinkedIn, here’s my advice:  don’t engage with the post!  If you like and/or comment on the post, it only adds to the popularity of the post (plus, your connections see your interaction with it).  LinkedIn defaults your news feed to “Top Stories” rather than “Most Recent”so engaging with that post will help it become a top story, seen by more users.  If you ignore that kind of post, it’s less likely to gain traction.

Here’s a quick look at some posts on LinkedIn that some find LinkedInappropriate.

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Engage Them!

    • Thank you for commenting! I think the line becomes increasingly blurred each week. For me, if I can’t make a professional or business argument to support it being posted, that’s where I draw the line. But, I recognize that line is drawn differently for other users.

  1. Arthur, great article, and great advice about dealing with it. Even in the groups I follow on business-related topics I’ve seen things devolve into name-calling and other ridiculousness. Just don’t get drawn into it.

  2. Pingback: Dear (LinkedIn) Diary? | Arthur Catalanello Consulting

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