As LinkedIn releases its new Facebook-like update to the masses, no one should be surprised that the site is becoming more like Facebook. The best example of this is the uptick in political content hitting LI feeds.
Naturally, the debates are heated, and there's always at least a few people in the fray that question whether the discussion is appropriate for LinkedIn; especially when the shared information is fake news (the legitimate kind, not the Trump kind).
So, are political posts appropriate for LinkedIn?
Well, to answer that question, I think we have to examine a phenomenon that has gripped the world! People have forgotten that social media is a reflection of the real world, and just as you would act differently in the various scenarios of life, SMM requires the same prudence.
So, if you're an entrepreneur, how should your social media ideally be broken up? I'll try and give some insight:
Facebook Online: A place to privately message friends, and share your views, which can lead to an onslaught of debate. Facebook In the Real World: A place to go out to lunch with a friend, and hit parties where you have wicked conversations that make people laugh, cry, or throw their hands up.
Twitter Online: It's turning into a place for people to rant and rave, and occasionally interact with celebrities. Twitter In the Real World: A party for negative people, and the odd Comic Con, where you can get some face time with B - Z celebrities.
Instagram Online: Sharing your moments through media, and having passing conversations.
Instagram In the Real World: Inviting someone over to your mom's house, so she can brag about her favourite kid a bit, or running into someone at the mall.
Pinterest Online: Window shopping. Pinterest In the Real World: Window shopping.
LinkedIn Online: Networking, drumming up business, and creating dialogue with other businesspersons. LinkedIn In the Real World: An office, a meeting, or a business convention.
What Does This Mean for Politics on LinkedIn?
No. That's the short answer. Do not discuss politics on LI. Here's the long answer though:
Your political views can change the way people see you, and that can distract from your ideas. Besides religion, (or perhaps in 2017 ahead of) politics is the most polarizing subject matter.
Here's an example of politics distracting from your ideas. Let's say you're presenting a budget that has much needed cuts in areas that are not vital to the company's success. Without politics involved, you're intelligently cutting. Everyone knows that cutting any divisions in the workplace is disheartening, but these cuts are necessary to moving forward. With politics, you're either a typical conservative thinking about money first, and with your heart last, or you're a Liberal that makes horrible decisions.
Now, this of course goes for the die hard fans of the two sides of the aisle, but needless to say, you'll find more opposition as a result of your political views.
Another reason you shouldn't talk politics online, is because in business you must always portray an image of success. If everyone knows what candidate you root for, and that candidate gets beaten in the election, you too are a loser.
Lastly, would you discuss politics with someone you are trying to strike a deal with? No, probably not. You'd talk about their business, your business, how you can help each other, and price. You know it, and I know it.
So, let's leave the politics for Twitter and Facebook. Here on LinkedIn, we network and create opportunities for the businesses we represent.