Can You Be Both Effective and Authentic on LinkedIn?

Many people want to maintain a consistent drum beat of activity on LinkedIn and other social media. If you are one of those folks, you may aspire to more than just crowding the social media airwaves. Besides being visible, you want to add value based on your experience and insights. You wonder: how can you be effective and maintain your authentic self?

When thinking about interacting on LinkedIn, I see three approaches to take towards posting, each with pros and cons.

Thoughtful and Deliberate

With this mindset, you should post with some regularity, but provide high-quality updates. You cautiously consider what you say, mindful to nurture your online brand image carefully with your valued LinkedIn connections. You may also take advantage of LinkedIn to self-publish articles, knowing that these provide a great way to demonstrate expertise and are permanent reference points on your profile.

As someone who pays attention to my LinkedIn Home page feed, I may notice when someone who posts infrequently joins in and will make an effort to comment or share. However, a single quality post may not attract attention, and that could lead to the occasional contributor becoming discouraged.

A thoughtful and deliberate approach best characterizes my LinkedIn updates, although I do make sure to post on LinkedIn at least once a week.

“In Your Face”

This approach involves posting as often as possible, to stay top of mind with any LinkedIn connection that visits the LinkedIn Home page feed frequently. In addition to posting at least once a day on LinkedIn, studies show that posting on multiple social media channels (i.e. tweaking your LinkedIn post for Twitter or Facebook) is required for professionals to significantly boost their audience engagement. Frequent posting is increasingly popular in today’s crowded social media world, but can seem daunting.

To start with, where do you find content? The first step is often to develop a content plan and calendar.  Then you will need to develop the actual posts. In lieu of writing each daily post yourself, you could utilize an intern to do research and some of the drafting.

Many social media experts promote this approach to maximizing their clients’ social media impact. Others of us feel that this behavior just creates more clutter, especially if the focus on is on quantity rather than quality. At a minimum, this approach is for people who are high energy and don’t mind spending their spare time promoting themselves or their company.

Delegate (The “Elephant in the Room”)

If you are like large numbers of people, you may be delegating regular postings to a social media agency or consultant. Even though the posts may cover your industry, beware that many of these have an impersonal feel. While some people may be able to communicate their authentic voice to a third party and have the resulting posts sound genuine, these kinds of posts are regarded by many as contributing to a LinkedIn community that is crowded and impersonal.

Delegating posting is consistent with LinkedIn rules if done through a social media scheduler like Hootsuite or Buffer. However, some may give out their LinkedIn password and ask a third party to post directly on their LinkedIn account, which violates LinkedIn rules.

Regardless of how you delegate, LinkedIn had been known for many years as a forum for valued professional contacts to stay in touch and exchange ideas. Ask yourself how this “proxy posting” contributes to the valued dialog.  

Maintaining Authenticity

I realize that today’s world is crowded. Regardless of your approach, you may have to push yourself more than your natural inclination. So my answer to the initial question “Can You Be Both Effective and Authentic on LinkedIn?” is a guarded “yes.” What do you think? Feel free to reach out to me at  to continue the conversation and of course, let’s connect on LinkedIn! 

Bruce K. Segall has 25 years of experience in large financial services companies and smaller firms before founding Marketing Sense for Business, LLC in 2010. Bruce works with small to mid-size firms and companies to build visibility, deepen relationships and grow their lead base. In this capacity, he has worked with scores of attorneys and other professionals to enhance their LinkedIn presence. He has been active in the LMA since 2013, currently overseeing SIG activity in the New York area as a member of the New York Local Steering Committee.

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