Stop tweeting on Linkedin – should I give an ultimatum?

May 11, 2010 · 30 comments

Since my three posts on how to use Linkedin properly I’ve been thinking about what I should do. Should I put my money where my mouth is?

Earlier this year Linkedin and Twitter confirmed they had enabled Twitter-Linkedin integration. This is how it works. When you connect your linkedin account to your twitter account, you can choose to share all (or some) of your tweets as linkedin status updates, and also share your linkedin status updates as tweets. Read about how it works on the Linkedin Twitter Help Pages.
Many of the people I’m connected with on Linkedin are twitter users, and some of those connect their twitter profile up to their Linkedin profile and feed all their twitter messages into Linkedin.
I have a problem with this. Let me explain.

1. The platforms are not the same.

I don’t know about you, but many of my Linkedin contacts have no idea what twitter is and if I suggested it to them they’d probably faint at the prospect. Linkedin has a strong identity as a professional’s site, yes it is rather staid, but it is a good home for newcomers on the social networking scene. Indeed many linkedin users would balk at the phrase ‘social networking’. Linkedin is seen as safe, and Twitter isn’t.

When these people see your twitter updates they won’t understand them, and they may not like them either.

2. Twitter doesn’t make sense to Linkedin only users.

If you like to send all your twitter updates to Linkedin, that includes all the replies to @people that your connections on linkedin don’t know, as parts of conversations they aren’t part of and don’t understand. What is ‘RT?’ they will ask. What do you mean by ‘ROFL’?

If you tweet through to linkedin, your shorthand, your language, whilst it is perfectly at home on twitter, looks out of place. Put yourself in the shoes of a non-tweeting Linkedin user and its pretty obvious your tweets look weird.

3. Status updates are fewer.

Linkedin is a network where status updates are designed to be infrequent. For example on your home desktop you’ll only see the latest three at a time, and the maximum is only seven if you hit ‘more updates’. Any others are lost.

Twitter is a platform that is designed to handle many updates – in fact as I’ve written elsewhere, many people won’t read them all and that’s ok. But I don’t think its OK on Linkedin, because the numbers it can handle are so limited.

4. Linkedin Status updates are for something else.

I see Linkedin as a good place to be sparing in your interactions, and as I’ve written before, I think Linkedin status updates are a good place to ask for help, and not to send out sales messages.

Everytime you update your status on Linkedin, your contacts who have email notifications will get that update in their email, so in theory you could be spamming your professional contacts with sales messages on a daily basis.

So that’s why I have a problem with people automating their Twitter feeding into Linkedin.

What am I going to do about it?

Well I can share my concerns with you, and if you’re one of these people, you might be motivated to stop doing it, and instead use the option to occasionally share a twitter message with Linkedin using the #in hashtag.

And I can ask for your advice on what else to do.

At the moment I don’t get to see my Linkedin networks status updates because they are swamped by twitter updates I can read on twitter. Should I give my linkedin contacts who do this an ultimatum, that if they don’t stop then I’ll hide all their updates? This, after all is what many other linkedin users will be doing.

I’d welcome your advice.

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