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Professional Networking: Are You An Oversharer?
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Professional Networking: Are You An Oversharer? - Executive Leadership Articles

Professional Networking: Are You An Oversharer?

Executive Leadership Articles

Professional Networking: Are You An Oversharer?

There are two types of oversharers on social media: those who share too intimately and those who share too frequently. In the worlds of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, the consequences an oversharer faces are being tuned out at best or being blocked at worst. But if you’re oversharing on LinkedIn or some other professional networking site, the price could be that golden opportunity you’ve been looking for, because your signal is getting lost in the noise.

Sharing too intimately (also known as TMI) covers a lot of ground, and although there are no official, defined boundaries for appropriate sharing, you should know by now what’s appropriate in a professional setting. Stick to professionalism and you should be okay. In addition to the type of content you share, consider its tone: negativity plays well in the office from time to time, but not if you’re presenting yourself to new connections, and putting on your best face is one of the things LinkedIn is about. Keep negativity away from your stream, and if there’s any question at all about the negativity of a comment you’re about to leave on something someone else has shared, err on the side of caution. Be your best self.

Sharing too frequently is a tough call, and the temptation to do so is understandable. You’re trying to establish a presence, you’re trying to engage, and you’re trying to offer value. The problem with oversharing is that it’s basically a short cut, and short cuts don’t impress anyone. Sharing six links to great articles every day, no matter how good the content is, accomplishes two things, neither of them in your favor. First, it floods other people’s streams with your presence, something that can be an annoyance because people check their streams for a mixture of connections, not to see your name show up a hundred times. Since most people don’t take a look at their streams every day, those who like to scroll through everything they’ve missed until they hit stuff they’ve already looked at will have to endure your six links for today, yesterday, the day before, and the day before that, the kind of thing that makes people want to tune you out. Second, since nobody’s going to click all six of your links, it makes it less likely that you’ll get any kind of meaningful conversation going about any one of your links. Share one good link so that five people inclined to click it might have something to say in comments, thereby engaging you and each other.

Establishing your presence is work, and it takes time, and there’s more to it than just sharing content. Looking at other people’s content, leaving thoughtful, meaningful comments, clicking like on a few things, and sharing good links all contribute to a social media presence, and the more thoughtfully you participate in any of these activities, the better your value to others in your network. If you’re finding a ton of good content to share, space it out through the week, and see if others are already sharing it. Be the one who shares from sources other than the usual wells. Everyone else is linking the Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and Grantland; look for quality sources in obscure places so that what you share doesn’t look like everything else. And yeah, if you’ve spotted a great new lunch spot, don’t be afraid to put up your food photos. Just pick your spots!


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