So everyone wants to publish. And LinkedIn lets us do that. That's the good news. The bad news? Lots of "articles" that are simply promotional posts that add nothing to anyone's day except for (maybe) the person who posted it.One of the problems is that since LinkedIn Pulse is seemingly open to everyone, the volume and quality are not being controlled, and some stinky stuff is showing up in our notifications. Am I right?
Not everyone is a writer, and not everyone has something of business value to share there that often ... and that's OK! Make it a status update if necessary, or post it on your website or your blog to promote yourself (and even that might not be so cool -- blogs, as part of your social media and content marketing efforts, should also be informational, educational, helpful, insightful, etc.). LinkedIn is a B2B social network and the publishing opportunity should contribute something to your business connections, not stuff their feeds with garbage or filler. Helpful advice, industry insights, points of view about a trend or an issue in your field are great. Thinly or not-even veiled promotion is content trash.
A client of mine, an advertising agency CEO, noted this recently during a discussion on publishing opportunities for expert byline articles; we talked about how the potential for LinkedIn to be a valuable platform for expert content has diminished due to the low quality and sheer volume of the published posts. LinkedIn got the lowest marks in a survey cited in a recent Market Watch article and when I shared the link, I commented about how disappointed I have become in my once-favorite social network because of the quality of posts.
My colleague, Gene Sower of Samson Media, an internet marketing and social media expert, agrees. After he read the article and my opinion about it, he said: "People are posting Pulse content that is one paragraph and a link to some promotional piece ... Or posting totally promotional content without ANY value to the reader .... Just because you CAN post anything in LinkedIn Pulse does NOT mean you should. Done properly, the writer should always have the reader in mind." We lamented about the declining quality of the posts (real estate listings, speaking engagement announcements, materials for sale); to illustrate the point, he shared a link to post about a broadcasting award someone won over 15 years ago. It would be great on that person's website. It's not an article.
I originally posted this on LinkedIn and I was very sure people were going to poop all over it as a rant that doesn't belong there as a published item. So be it. I threatened to write this blog post as well and maybe they'll poop on that, too. And I'll bet the LinkedIn people will be mad at me for taking them to task for not moderating published content. Oh well. I consider this a public service to my colleagues who are in agreement with me about the filler that's been appearing in LinkedIn posts.
So dear readers, before you publish on LinkedIn, please consider if you are writing and sharing an expert opinion, an industry insight, an update about your field, something pertinent to your cohort and the like. If not, please make it a status update if you're feeling the urge to put it here. Or flush it down the toilet.
Rant over. Have to go take out the garbage.