Smile for the Camera!
How many times do you change your profile picture on Facebook? How many pictures of you in the pub, you with your pals, you with the family, you completing a challenge do you add each year? Facebook posts are now mainly photo related if my feed is anything to go by. But is that the same for LinkedIn?
We had a significant discussion this morning at the meeting of the Market Harborough Business Club about photos on LinkedIn and the varied opinions around the table show that there are many different schools of thought on this subject.
The first point of view is that all of the social media platforms are linked. If you post it on one, you should be happy to post it elsewhere. Once a connection is made on LinkedIn, Facebook is checked and the profile pictures should be the same. Otherwise, we are hiding our true identity on LinkedIn and that could make us look false, or it may appear that we are trying to hide something. If you aren’t prepared to have the same detail across all social platforms, you should clear off from social media all together. A valid thought process. We all prefer transparency in our dealings with people and we hate surprises down the track about the kind of person that we are working with.
Another point of view saw the different channels in very different lights. Facebook is for social interaction with friends, for sharing interests and life outside of work. LinedIn is for a professional persona- same core values, same person, but used for very different reasons. Therefore the profile photo should be different. It should be a staged, corporate image which doesn’t reflect hobbies or interests, include other family members or glasses of wine (worse still a jägerbomb!)
But is that showing your true self? Is having a persona for LinkedIn and a lifestyle on Facebook denying your LinkedIn contacts a true reflection of the real you? Or should you be able to have a personal interest that you don’t necessarily want to share with your work contacts?
Both points of view are valid and have their value within the debate. We should be the same person across all aspects of our lives. Or should we? Despite the invasive nature of living life through and on social media, do we still have the right to anonymity at the weekend? I don’t chose to dress in full historical military dress and re-enact the Battle of Bosworth at the weekend, but if I did and proudly displayed my outfit as my Facebook profile picture, should that be my LinkedIn profile too?
Smile- you’re on camera! Where will you post that?