Have you ever stood in a crowded room with someone who is trying to create a little hush so they can share an important piece of information? Perhaps they wanted to start a speech at a wedding, share an announcement at a party or deliver a presentation at a networking event. There are always people who insist on continuing to talk long after they have heard an initial request for silence.
And then it starts.
People in the crowd start demanding silence by delivering abrupt requests to “ssshhh,” “be quiet” or (and this is just plain rude) “shut up.” Before you know it, the sound generated by the well-meaning “ssshhh” mob becomes louder than the sound of the people who refuse to be quiet. Under the shelter of this new cacophony of noise, other people take the opportunity to restart their conversations, and the room gets even noisier.
LinkedIn, the business-friendly social network is currently receiving a lot of criticism for the number of “Facebook-style” posts being posted to its users’ feeds. You know the sort of thing — links that suggest “if you can solve this math puzzle, you’re a genius” or clickbait that promises “to blow your mind.” And don’t get me started on the motivational memes inviting you to “climb success mountain” that should have been assigned to the trash when they were taken down from the walls of boiler house sales departments in the 1980s.
However, in my opinion, there’s one thing worse than the noise of pointless, non-business-related posts on LinkedIn, and that’s the comments about pointless posts on LinkedIn.
When you comment on a post on social media, it simply pours fuel on the original post, extending its reach and potentially polluting your own wider social network. In short, you are adding to the noise, just like the well-meaning noise-dampers who hiss “ssshhh” at a social event.
If you want LinkedIn (or any other social network) to retain its professional integrity, instead of shouting, “Keep these Facebook posts off LinkedIn,” you can do one of two things:
- Ignore anything that’s not relevant to your business (in the same way you would ignore poorly targeted sales pitches and other everyday office distractions).
- Unfollow anyone who doesn’t play by your rules or add value to your experience (in the same way you would unsubscribe from unwanted email marketing campaigns).
Business networks, like email lists, need nurturing — and occasionally cleansing.
Manage your networks effectively, and you’ll cut out the bulk of any unwanted noise. Remember, it’s the quality of your connections that counts, so don’t be afraid to cut out any dead wood.
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.