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Recruitment Marketing

The Impact of Bad Personal Branding Content on LinkedIn

Is personal content on LinkedIn diluting the platform’s value?

LinkedIn has long stood out as the go-to platform for professional networking and career advancement, with its core mission being to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Despite this, recent years have shown a huge surge in LinkedIn content geared towards personal branding, notably selfies and self-indulgent posts, which many of the recruitment business leaders and owners we speak with feel has begun to dilute the unique value proposition that LinkedIn offers.

This trend raises critical questions about the user experience of the platform and the quality of content users are exposed to. Is personal branding enhancing LinkedIn’s professional ecosystem, or is it detracting from its core mission?

 

The Rise of Personal Branding on LinkedIn

Personal branding is not a new phenomenon, but its increasing presence on LinkedIn has sparked a debate about its impact on the platform’s original purpose. Professionals across various industries are encouraged to cultivate their personal brands to stand out in competitive job markets. Yet, implementing this strategy often results in an increase in LinkedIn content that blurs the distinction between professional accomplishments and personal activities.

 

What’s Caused the Personal Branding Boom?

The growth of the personal branding wave can be credited to LinkedIn’s evolution from a simple job search and business networking site to a more traditional social media platform. A significant milestone in this transformation was the launch of LinkedIn Creator Mode in 2021.

This feature helped professionals easily create and share content, from newsletters to hosting LinkedIn lives, enabling them to leverage personal branding as a powerful tactic for career advancement, follower growth and professional benefits such as business development. The Creator Mode feature allows users to showcase their expertise and establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries.

Another factor to consider is the age group that dominates LinkedIn. Recent statistics show that the largest demographic on LinkedIn is users aged 25–34, who make up 50.6% of the one billion user base. What this tells us is that young professionals are consistently using the platform, a generation that is well versed in the world of social media posting.

 

The Shift from Informative to Self-Indulgent Content

The intent behind personal branding on LinkedIn is to showcase who you are, your expertise, your knowledge, and your professional achievements to inform and boost your potential value for those in your network. Yet this method can lead to posts of selfies, motivational quotes, and anecdotes that, while engaging, lack substantive value for their audience. This shift from informative content to self-indulgent posts can be detrimental for several reasons:

Dilution of Professional Content

LinkedIn’s primary appeal is its focus on career and industry-specific content, and although trust can be built through personal branding, an overabundance of personal posts erodes this focus, making it harder for users to find valuable, relevant information. Excessive self-promotion can also turn off potential approaches from target audiences or prospect clients who are seeking genuine professional engagement.

Engagement Over Substance

The algorithmic reward system of social media platforms often prioritises engagement metrics over content quality. Businesses and professionals are increasingly using likes, comments, and views to evaluate their content performance, rather than actionable metrics such as click through rate (CTR) and conversions. The knock-on effect? More frequent personal posts on users’ feeds in the effort to prioritise visibility.

Professional Authenticity

Overemphasis on personal branding can lead to a disingenuous representation of one’s professional life. The pressure to constantly post personal updates, achievements or polished narratives might overshadow genuine interactions and connections.

 

The User Experience Impact

As LinkedIn feeds become increasingly filled with personal branding content, many now feel that their user experience is deteriorating. Users seeking insightful articles, industry news, and professional advice may find themselves scrolling through a sea of irrelevant posts. This pivot leads to user fatigue and disengagement. So much so, some professionals report spending less time on the platform, frustrated by the declining quality of their feeds.

 

The Consequences of LinkedIn’s Transformation

If LinkedIn continues on this trajectory, it risks transforming into a hybrid of Facebook and Instagram, platforms known for personal sharing and visual content rather than professional networking. With this in mind, here could be some of the potential consequences:

Loss of Professional Integrity

If LinkedIn loses its identity as the top platform for professional networking and career development, it will reduce its appeal as the main source for job seekers. As a result, there will be less user engagement from professionals who want to network in their industry and use LinkedIn for job searching, affecting the site’s overall reputation in the professional world.

User Exodus

As the quality of the content declines, users may migrate to other platforms that maintain a stronger focus on professional content, leading to a decrease in active users and a weakened community.

Commercial Implications

For recruiters and businesses using LinkedIn for talent acquisition and B2B marketing, the dilution of LinkedIn content could reduce the platform’s effectiveness in lead generation. You may have noticed an increase in viral posts from companies that are crafting their social media with a more human approach or jumping on viral trends to increase their engagement. For businesses that don’t take this approach, LinkedIn becomes a much tougher place for lead generation.

 

The Call for Value-Driven Content

To counteract these trends, users should cautiously assess the content they share. The guiding principle should be to always add value: Does this post inform, educate, or provide genuine insight and value? Here are some strategies to enhance content quality:

Focus on Expertise

Share posts that highlight your expertise, industry trends, or professional experiences that offer actionable insights. This can help you attract the right audience; beyond vanity metrics, you can generate meaningful leads interested in your business.

Engage Thoughtfully

Participate in discussions and comment on posts in a way that adds depth to the conversation. Build relationships with others in your industry and support the businesses and professionals you value; they will almost certainly return the favour!

Quality over Quantity

Build stronger relationships and better results for your business by prioritising the quality of your posts over their frequency. Thoughtful, well-crafted content is more likely to resonate with your audience. Remember, it’s better to have a few high-quality interactions than lots of superficial ones!

 

Predictions for LinkedIn’s Future

If LinkedIn can recalibrate its focus towards high-quality, informative content, it stands a good chance of preserving its unique professional niche. However, if the trend towards personal branding posts continues unchecked, LinkedIn might face significant challenges:

Niche Platforms Rise

New platforms dedicated solely to professional networking and content might emerge, capitalising on LinkedIn’s drift towards a generic social media platform.

Algorithm Adjustments

LinkedIn might need to refine its algorithms to prioritise professional content, ensuring that the most relevant and valuable posts reach users’ feeds.

Community Standards

Implementing and enforcing community guidelines that encourage professional discourse over personal promotion could help maintain the platform’s integrity.

 

What we are getting at is…

Personal branding is here to stay as a powerful engagement tool for users; however, LinkedIn’s strength lies in its professional focus. Users and the platform alike must strive to preserve this by emphasising informative, value-driven content over self-indulgent posts. By doing so, LinkedIn can continue to serve as the leading space for professional growth and networking in the digital age.

Looking to take your LinkedIn content to the next level? Whether you need a content strategy to push through personal branding posts, or support with creating engaging, value-driven content that captivates your target audiences and turns your followers into clients and candidates, check out our outsourced social media plans.

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