All LinkedIn Activities Are Public to Your Connections

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All LinkedIn Activities Are Public to Your Connections

There are No Secrets On LinkedIn

Did you know that there are virtually no secrets on LinkedIn? Almost all your LinkedIn activities are connected to your personal brand. Everything you post, like or comment on in LinkedIn is broadcast to your connections.

Specifically, did you know that all your LinkedIn activity, virtually everything you like or comment on LinkedIn, is broadcast to your first degree connections and is on your profile for all first and second degree connections to see. Most people don’t realize this, and it is potentially costing them business.

LinkedIn Activities are Public Information

Here’s a recent example. I knew that I would be seeing a connection of mine at an event where I was speaking. I went to his LinkedIn profile to catch up with what he’s been up to and to my surprise, seven of his top ten things in his activity feed were of scantily clad women where he had liked each photo. I thought one of two things might be true: 1) either his LinkedIn account had been hacked, or 2) he was a bit of a pervert.

Because I deliver social selling training and coaching, I actually thought there might be a third reason – he has no idea that I – and everyone who is a first or second degree connection – can see all of his LinkedIn activity.

So, before I met with this connection, I let him know what I saw on his profile. I got back a one word response from him: “Oh!!!”

And, then we got together in person and I learned that he has a connection who owns a woman’s brassiere company. He wanted to help support this friend by liking all her LinkedIn posts. He admits that he didn’t read them. He was simply doing what he hoped others would do for him by showing support for her work.

Great intention – except he had no idea that all these likes showed up on his LinkedIn profile – with thumbnail pictures from those posts. To say that would be inappropriate for his job and his company would be an understatement. He immediately went back once I showed him and he unliked those posts so they would no longer appear on his LinkedIn activity.

His customers, his prospects, his peers and his competitors, are all looking at his profile before they meet with him. And while I knew my connection wasn’t really a pervert, others may not know the same story I do. Others would likely make an immediate decision based on what they saw in his LinkedIn profile, just like they will make a decision about you based on what they see on your LinkedIn profile.

You are what you like, comment, & share on LinkedIn - & there's everything you can do about it @PhilGerb Click To Tweet

Risk of Political Comments on Your LinkedIn Activity

Another one of my LinkedIn connections is constantly posting political comments, often negative things about our current president. While he seems to be getting much engagement, with many posts getting several hundred comments and 1000 or more likes, many of the comments are people telling him to stop posting about politics on LinkedIn and to take it to Facebook, in addition to many who have said they refuse to do business with any company he supports or works with. That’s not counting the many people who will say nothing out loud but who will quietly take their business elsewhere because they do not want their brand associated with his brand.

Did you know your 1st & 2nd degree connections see all you like & comment on #LinkedIn? @PhilGerbClick To Tweet

Are either of these ways of using LinkedIn beneficial to your business? Do they make you more sales? Do you want your employees to be seen as perverts or as cutting out half of your available audience?

Let’s look at Brynne Tillman’s recent LinkedIn activities:

Great example of LinkedIn activities - Brynne Tillman

Brynne is the Chief Learning Officer at Vengreso, and she has four pieces of content visible on her profile without looking beyond page 1.

One is an article she wrote (and you can see she has 207 more authored articles). Another is an article she commented on about marketing and sales, and two are articles about sales she liked. These are in line with her brand as an expert in sales and LinkedIn, and do not give you reason to question whether or not she will damage your brand if you choose to work with her. This is what your profile can look like once you realize there are no secrets on LinkedIn, that all the activity you do is visible by first and second degree connections.

I am not telling you to never like another post on LinkedIn. In fact, I am suggesting that you purposely, intentionally and with a strategic vision, think about everything you do on LinkedIn. All your LinkedIn activity should align with why you do what you do, and who you do it for. Understand that if it can be misconstrued, it will be. If you’re not sure, don’t post it, don’t comment on it, and don’t like it.

Do you know the 5 Rules of Engagement for LinkedIn Activities? @PhilGerb does #salesClick To Tweet

5 Rules of Engagement for LinkedIn Activities

Before you click like, think about these 5 things:

  1. Is this someone I want every one of my connections to think I endorse?
  2. Is it obvious why I thought this was of interest to all my connections?
  3. Does this reflect my business interests?
  4. If someone were to take a screenshot of this, would I want it to be on the big screen in the boardroom?
  5. Is it possible someone could misconstrue this post and thus choose not to do business with me or my company because of it?
Are you purposely sharing what your brand is? @PhilGerb #personalbranding Click To Tweet

There are no secrets for effective LinkedIn activities. Avoid unintentionally offending people without trying to. Build your personal brand responsibly, use LinkedIn for good and you will grow your business.

Phil Gerbyshak

Phil Gerbyshak is a Strategic Advisor to Vengreso. He’s an award-winning speaker, an author and a technology geek who has been using digital to build business for nearly 20 years when he hand coded his first website dedicated to his favorite decade, the 80s. Since the early days of the Internet, Phil has built websites, communities and bank accounts using the latest tools integrated into the classic needs of sales and marketing. A teacher at heart, Phil has delivered programs for audiences of 5 to 500, for the Fortune 50 to the smallest businesses and he’s been featured in articles in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, USA Today, Financial Times, Daily Globe and Mail, Inc and Entrepreneur to name just a few places. When Phil isn’t teaching digital sales transformation, creating content, or reading the latest business book, you can find him playing pinball, walking on Florida’s beaches or enjoying one of 57 craft breweries in the Tampa Bay area.

Comments
  • Fantastic article, Phil. Good food for thought on the “liking” issue.

  • Zam

    Totally agree. Though it is annoying that I have ‘liked’ a post accidentally, then ‘unliked’ it, but that post still shows up in my linkedin activities liked. Can’t get a way around this!

  • This is somewhat misleading. initially, LinkedIn shows your status updates to only about 0.5% for your first level connections. If people like and comment on your content, then it is distributed further. If no one engages with your content, it is unlikely that more people will even see your content.

    When you post a new discussion in groups, no one is notified of this. If you luck out you may show up in the digest if enough people comment.

    Posting on LinkedIn Publisher is a fruitless exercise. Hardly anyone sees your posts.

    The biggest challenge on LinkedIn is getting your content viewed.

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