How Personal Is Too Personal?
When LinkedIn first launched in 2003, its sole purpose was to connect professionals to one another online, mirroring in-person networking and enabling users to contact people in their sectors and industries far and wide.
Whilst that still rings true, LinkedIn has come a long way since its inception – both in terms of the platform itself, and how members use it. Once upon a time, everyone’s profile pictures were formal looking headshots and posts being shared were solely around their industry, available jobs or company news.
Oh, how times have changed.
If you open LinkedIn now you will see an incredible mix of videos, job adverts, blogs, family photos, life milestone announcements, promotion updates and everything in between.
So, just how personal is too personal when it comes to posting on LinkedIn?
What to post on LinkedIn 2022
From a professional perspective, the posts you’re sharing that relate to your role and sector will vary. For example, if you work in recruitment, you could be sharing a variety of content around the industries you recruit in, the company you work for and the jobs you’re currently working on. However, for those who are truly dedicated to their personal brand, this will also mean creating some ‘personal’ posts, too.
The truth is – and of course, use a little discernment with this one – there’s no such thing as posting something ‘too personal’ on LinkedIn. You can post whatever you want – it’s your account, after all. Regardless of what you post, there is always the potential for someone on LinkedIn to comment something negative, so be prepared for that. Take it with a pinch of salt and keep moving – the vast majority of people on LinkedIn will engage with the personal content you’re sharing in a positive way, and are likely to have also posted their own personal content, too.
The main aim is to keep a balance. For example, if you’re a recruiter posting daily, this could look like:
- Monday - industry news
- Tuesday - personal post, job advert
- Wednesday - job advert
- Thursday - company update, job advert
- Friday - personal post
- Saturday - industry news
- Sunday - job video
With that being said, it is best to see what works for you and your network. If after a few weeks of a specific routine or posting schedule you see a certain type of post perform better than others – particularly on a specific day, or at a specific time – try posting these more regularly if you are trying to increase engagement.
LinkedIn post ideas
Post ideas aren’t always easy – if you’ve been used to only posting work-related content, it may feel a little out of your comfort zone to suddenly start posting content from a different angle. How personal you want to go is completely up to you – if you’re happy to open up, go right ahead. It’s often beneficial for your colleagues, clients, customers and connections to see the human side to you that they may not know as well as they know the professional side.
If you are looking to share some personal content on LinkedIn, consider some of the following suggestions:
- Personal achievements:
Whether you’ve bought a house, climbed a mountain, run a 10k for the first time or your dog won Crufts, take the time to shout about the things you’re proud of outside of work
- Family milestones:
If you recently got engaged, had a baby, your Dad turned 70 or you want to celebrate your divorce, post about it! There will be plenty of people on LinkedIn who can relate to what you’re posting and celebrate along with you
- Mental health:
Thankfully more and more people are opening up and sharing their own experiences about mental health struggles, which in turn is encouraging others to share their stories. The more people who talk about these topics, the less people will feel alone when they are struggling, so if you have something you want to share - LinkedIn is a great place to do so
Are you a member of a local football team, or have you taken up knitting? Do you take part in open mic nights, or write poetry in your spare time? Showing people what you do outside of work will enable people to see a side of you that they may relate to, which they’d otherwise have been unaware of
- Volunteer work:
Do you do any volunteer work outside of your full-time job? Talking about it on LinkedIn is beneficial in two ways - it may encourage others to take up volunteer work in their spare time, and it could give the organisation you’re volunteering with more exposure if you tag their company name or share their website in your post
Whatever it is that you decide to share on LinkedIn, the key is to ensure your tone of voice sounds like the person who also shares the professional and company content – you.