Status Update Abuse: Know When to Say When

31 Oct

There are several dangers that come along with using social media: loss of privacy, possibility of hacked accounts, and status update abuse. Recently, I received a LinkedIn message from a connection that indicated I was putting out too many status updates. Here’s the message I received.

What does this message tell you? To me, this message reveals 3 specific things.

1. (Possible) Status Update Abuse

Okay, I admit, I send a lot of status updates throughout the day. This is part of the personal branding work I undertake everyday. It’s likely you’ll see some individuals in certain industries are likely to post more often than others. In my case, I work in digital communication. I spend a lot of time keeping up on what’s happening in technology innovation, social media, young professional groups, and the Columbus city scene. I use LinkedIn and other social media outlets to operate as a resource person on these topics.

Since this person is not someone I’m connected to locally — it’s likely that my updates simply aren’t as relevant for her as they might be for others. It’s also likely that my alleged Status Update Abuse means I should review the posting frequency because my goal is not to alienate my connections. Importantly, you should consider both post frequency and medium when using social media. If people block or hide your updates — you really can’t be very effective.

2. Inactive LinkedIn Network

For me, this message also reveals this user may have a network of Inactive LinkedIn Network. Again, depending on the professional industries represented in your LinkedIn network, you might find your connections to be more or less active. Since many of my connections are in the public facing digital communications, advertising, public relations, and traditional and new media fields -many are very active users.

I consider active to mean:

  • More than 5 posts in a day
  • Posts frequently feature news articles, blog pieces, case studies, and events that are relevant to their personal brands or professional work
  • Posts include messages sent on Twitter

Depending on your use of LinkedIn this kind of active use may seem completely appropriate — as it does in my case — or completely excessive — as it does in the case of others. That’s a decision individual users have to make.

Something to consider: When I receive LinkedIn connections from individuals I may not know personally — I review their profile to review the last status updates and when it was posted. Here are some conclusions I draw influencing my decision to accept a LI request from an unknown user:

  • Less than 3 days — moderately active LinkedIn user, a may be a good person to know.
  • Within hours — an active user and likely offering relevant info regularly and a good person to know.
  • More than a week — inactive LinkedIn user, seeking to grow their network and likely not a resource person.

3. Customize Home Page Settings

Importantly, social media networks are powerful because you get to CHOOSE how YOU want to GET YOUR INFORMATION. This means you can Customize Home Page Settings to show information from your connections that you will find most relevant. LinkedIn knows that every user is not interested in knowing all the same information and have created quite a few levels of customization to ensure you get what you want in your home page news feed.

Go to “Settings,” select “Home Page Settings,” and “Manage Updates by Type.” The screen will look like this:

Also, if you want to simply block a single individual, hover over the right hand corner of that person’s update in your news feed to reveal “hide.” Click and that’s it.

You can also review those that you have hidden in the “Home Page Settings,” option too.

What advice would you give LI connections that are committing Status Update Abuse?


Posted by on October 31, 2010 in business, communication, Networking, social media


Tags: , ,

2 responses to “Status Update Abuse: Know When to Say When

  1. Darrah

    December 2, 2010 at 4:29 am

    Erika – Thanks for sharing! Great blog!

    One advice I would like to give – is know your audience. LinkedIn is a Professional Site.

    What annoys me is when somebody links their Twitter updates to LinkedIn and just fills my LinkedIn Network Activity with “noise” that isn’t relevant.

    What’s your opinion on that?

    • Erika Pryor

      December 2, 2010 at 6:20 am

      Hi Darrah,
      I agree with you. Depending on what type of industry you are in your audience — especially on LinkedIn can be either very narrow or quite broad and diverse. Regardless — just sharing any old thing is okay in some instances but not others. So, this means both know your audience and understand your channel. Also, keep in mind that LinkedIn has added a lot of new functionality with the hopes increasing use and user experience.

      Great question. What do others think?


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