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This is a cross-post from my company blog.

It’s one thing to gripe on Twitter. People expect it. If it’s a customer service issue and you’re lucky – the right person from Company X will see it, work to resolve your issue, and you can move on. It’s a common occurrence these days as some companies are offering better customer service on Twitter than they are over the phone and in person.  But that’s a post for a different day.

Back to the griping.

Because Twitter is so fast-paced chances are, the majority of your followers won’t even see the gripes if they are few and far between. You are in no way classified as a common complainer and can easily go back to your normal way of tweeting. No harm, no foul.

But when you post the same kind of content as an update on LinkedIn, it attaches to your profile page and is visible to anyone who happens to view your profile.  Now remember, this is a professional network. What you want to appear in that space is something that reflects positively on you or your business. (I recently posted  link to a video highlighting some of the work Capstrat’s social media team has done on Facebook.)

What you don’t want is something that casts you in a bad light or leaves a bad impression on someone who may be interested in working with or for you, hiring you, or gleaning a bit of information from your profile to make some other decision about you.

I came across a LinkedIn profile today that had an update filled with Time-Warner bashing. And you know what? I wasn’t phased by the bashing at all even though there’s a great chance that all of his claims are true. I was more concerned about the person who was willing to sacrifice their own image on a professional social network, just to blast Time Warner. In my opinion, that is a major mistake. This person may be the best of the best in their field, but after reading that rant about Time Warner, which shows just below his name and current position, I wanted to get as far away from him as possible.

Now what if I wanted to hire him or contact him about an opportunity? I am now questioning his professionalism and quite honestly have lost interest.

You’ve heard it before, but with social media, you have to be smart. You can’t post everything that crosses your mind. Be selective about what and where you post. And when it comes to LinkedIn, keep it professional.

Save your gripes for Twitter, where they belong.

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August 2011

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This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of my employer. Feel free to challenge me, disagree with me, or tell me I’m completely nuts in the comments section of each blog entry.


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