â€œOh for god sake, this is not Facebookâ€
â€œI am not on here for this, this is about business conversations onlyâ€
â€œI am un-following you now after this post, goodbye!â€
All things I see on a daily basis plastered over Linkedin by people that want the social platform to stay â€˜Professionalâ€™. Personally, I am not bothered what I see on Linkedin as I am on there for one purpose and thatâ€™s to do business. If I see a picture of a half naked dorris on my news feed, I stop in my tracks, appreciate what Iâ€™m seeing, read the stupid comments from people stuck in the stone age and move on.
Now lets look at Facebook, the social media platform for people to share their lives, emotions, stories and basically anything they have going on. Something else Facebook does is allow businesses to create pages and then talk about their services. There are thousands of business pages on Facebook, many of which have thousands, if not millions of followers yet when was the last time you saw someone postâ€¦
â€œThis is for stupid stories of people falling over and dramas about their dog, why are you talking business on Facebook?â€
Thatâ€™s right, you have never seen that because it has been widely accepted that Facebook offers both business and personal sharing opportunities. It does this because the line between business and personal is so thin and so vague in 2016, that combining the 2 actually helps businesses grow.
Tell me the last time you had a business meeting and didnâ€™t end up talking about something personal?
When was the last time you spoke to a member of your team about something personal to them? (If you donâ€™t then you are a very bad manager or you have no friends)
When was the last time you struck a great business deal over a beer or 3?
The combination of business and personal is how the greatest brands succeed and grow. Itâ€™s how the best relationships are formed and how trust is established. The term â€˜People buy from peopleâ€™ is one of the most common in business yet we contradict this by insisting the 2 stay separate.
Linkedin is evolving and as personal and business get ever closer, the social sharing platform will adapt. There are many people that have a community of contacts on Linkedin and a genuine following that they would never have on Facebook.
There are also people that work in industries that are not about pushing paper or stacking shelves so there may be the odd post that goes outside the tiny little box that people want Linkedin to live in. When I see these comments, I have a little chuckle to myself and mutter the words â€˜Get a life, seriously, how sad can you be?â€™
What about the contradictions??
So lets look at whats allowed in the closed off minds of people wearing grey suits and a grey tie with grey pants and grey socks. I have included some examples below that totally contradict the echoâ€™s vibrating around Linkedin regarding â€˜Business posts onlyâ€™
You can see by the first set that business and pleasure is being mixed. We have images of people playing sport and an image of a work night out where I imagine many beers and bottles of wine were consumed! All of these images were accepted on Linkedin by the masses and the comments were extremely positive. Not a stiff grey suit in sight!
The image below however, despite it being business related, was destroyed for being inappropriate and â€˜Not right for Linkedinâ€™. (Mostly by men which I find very odd!)
So I find myself asking why. Why is it acceptable to post pictures of a night out or a team day where clearly the topics of conversation went far beyond spreadsheets and analytics, and not acceptable to promote your business using a beautiful women? Surely if we are saying that Linkedin is for â€˜Business conversations onlyâ€™ (Yawn) then the top images are going against that more than this one right?
What about this one? A crate of beers and a competition to win them. As with the first set, not a negative comment in site, just a bunch of guys jumping on the band wagon and embracing a bit of fun.
The more I look at Linkedin, the more it evolves into a platform for sharing peoples lives, professionally and personally. It would seem that people certainly have an issue with images of attractive young women wearing something a little naughty whether they are promoting a brand or not. Those same people however are perfectly happy to embrace non business related posts about team nights out and beer competitions
For me, there seems to be a lot of attention seeking and following the crowd with these comments. People believe that if they are seen to be â€˜All about businessâ€™ that others will want to work with them and see them as professional. I have news for you peopleâ€¦It actually creates the opposite effect. As I have said a million times in this and other articles, people buy from people. For any relationship to grow, there must be a connection, a bond, a common ground. The greatest â€˜Businessâ€™ relationships are formed when 2 people know something personal about each other and find that common interest.
To the people that comment on Linkedin posts similar to the ones explained in this post, my message to you is clearâ€¦Bring yourself in to the 21st century and accept that business and personal need to work in harmony to ensure growth. The days of living in 2 different boxes, wearing 2 different hats and having 2 different characters are over, combine the best parts of your character with your business brain and embrace the evolution.
â€œThe greatest business is done when a personal connection existsâ€¦â€