How to Treat LinkedIn Like We Supposedly Treat LinkedIn

Bambang Ramdhan
Jan 10, 2016 · 4 min read

A few days ago, I endured unwanted user experiences when I was swimming into the depth of LinkedIn. I saw that some of us have been treating LinkedIn mistakenly. At least, in my (humble) opinion.

It’s cliché but it’s the truth: some of us think using LinkedIn as Facebook. But before we find out how to understand LinkedIn deeper, it’s best for us to know the facts.

Founded in Santa Monica, California, United States, in 2003, LinkedIn was born a year ahead than Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg and friends found the most populous sharing network in the world on February, 2004. Chronologically older than Facebook, LinkedIn has more specific scope than Zuckerberg’s creation. It’s not for everyone. Thus, it’s less popular than Facebook.

While they both seem similar in many aspects, yet they are totally different. Facebook soars to the highest spot in term of numbers, but LinkedIn wins in term of year to year growth rate. By 2012, Facebook’s users was 900 million whilst LinkedIn’s quietly achieved 161 million users. Both companies count its revenue by its user or revenue per users. At the same time by 2012, LinkedIn produced 85 cent per user and Facebook took 86 cent per its enormous users. When it comes to profit, LinkedIn was far behind Facebook by making only $ 188 million, throughout the time Facebook received $ 1 billion.

By 2014, LinkedIn has 332 million users. That’s big numbers. But popularity almost kills everything. Including its enemies. Facebook is more popular by grabbing 1,393 billion users by the end of the fourth quarter of 2014. I bet LinkedIn users have their own Facebook account, but it is not reciprocal. Not all Facebook’s citizens have LinkedIn accounts. It’s clear. Facebook is for everyone. Even babies have their own accounts created by their parents.

The fact says Facebook is more popular than LinkedIn, but it doesn’t mean we are allowed to treat LinkedIn under the shadow of Facebook. Treating LinkedIn as Facebook could damage our social attitudes. At least, in my humble opinion. Again.

LinkedIn is a sharing network. Yes it is. We can’t deny that. As a sharing network it has its own rules. Stated or not, LinkedIn is not Facebook. It is a business oriented social networking service, that’s the point. So, how we treat LinkedIn like we supposedly treat LinkedIn?

It’s crystal clear you are not supposed to upload a family portrait or your friendship moments and even worse, a selfie in front of a bathroom mirror. Ah, and that’s include not to share your private moment videos. You might say your LinkedIn is your privilege, you can do everything you like. But we must remember, other LinkedIn users also have their own privileged: they won’t see some “abnormal posts”. Others might say, the solution is easy: simply cut the connection.

We must remember losing our pro connections on LinkedIn is not as easy as losing our friends connection on Facebook. Moreover if you have business relation. It might damage your career. Worst, our business proposal.

Another biggest mistake we could make on LinkedIn includes inappropriate status. The absolute worst thing a LinkedIn user can do is write how sexy his girlfriend is or how his mother in law annoys him. LinkedIn filled by many professionals, logically we have to write professionally. Imagine how your boss perceive you if you make a status about how pathetic your company’s management is.

On Facebook you can write inappropriate status because you are allowed to hide it from anyone, just select some close friends to see it and you’ll be safe. Even though I also don’t suggest you to write inappropriately anywhere.

Never share cheesy things. You don’t do fishy-funny quiz that shows how lovable you are as a Gemini, or how you and Jennifer Lawrence both have similar fates according to astrology. You just don’t do that on LinkedIn. Your pro connections don’t really care about that.

LinkedIn is filled with professionals around the world. Typically, they don’t do vacations once a month. So, don’t share your holiday photos on LinkedIn because they need that but they don’t care about that too.

Don’t pick wrong picture as your profile. I don’t know about you but wrong profile picture will never make me want to make a connection. Like a bathroom mirror photo. Pick a clearer picture and professionally taken. It will also boost your LinkedIn’s profile, I guess.

Sporadically send standard connections. It’s clear. Sometimes it’s better for us to send a connection to those who know us. But it will restrict our networking. For many times, I send connections to professionals I admire even though I don’t know them. If it happens to you, send an appropriate message by stating why you want to connect. More importantly, don’t send standard connections sporadically.

Back to basic, LinkedIn is not Facebook. Don’t sell things! You might be dying to reach your company monthly sales target, but it doesn’t mean you must sell your products here. Personally, if I need a product I’ll go directly to its source. Once a user offered me a product through LinkedIn message while I was waiting for an important message from my connection. I thought it was the message I was waiting for and I was furious as hell finding out it wasn’t.

Just don’t do that.

In the very end, LinkedIn is LinkedIn. I think it’s important for us — LinkedIn users — to get better understanding about this pro site.