Have you ever written snarky LinkedIn comments, or been a victim of them?
In my opinion, social media snark is never a good thing.
I’m talking about the lack of common courtesy and manners, and people spewing hurtful epithets and vitriol, instead of making life more pleasant, as we all muddle through our daily challenges.
Why do people feel it’s their right to publish negative content about people they don’t like and possibly don’t even know, with no regard for how their words impact that person – internally and in their perception to the external world?
Is it naive to expect kindness over nastiness on these public platforms? Maybe it’s too much to hope that people have learned and practice what is second nature to many of us
“If you have nothing nice to say about someone, say nothing.”
I like to think that eventually their passion for sniping about others will come back to bite them, but comeuppance may not ruffle them at all, or cause them to rethink the way they operate. Maybe they purposefully mean to brand themselves as snide, thoughtless people.
The thing is, many, many people are giddy about aligning themselves with these proponents of negativity, and happily jump on their brandwagons.
The more their bad behavior is reinforced, the more they’re encouraged to be snarkier still. They’re apparently unaware of how much damage they do to their personal brands.
My own experience with snarky LinkedIn comments
I post updates every day on LinkedIn. I’m very gratified when people take the time to comment, or even simply like, share or otherwise react to my posts.
The vast majority of these comments are positive. People thank me for providing useful information. Some add their own helpful tips. That’s all very welcome and good.
Occasionally, someone posts a snarky comment, such as this one for an article I posted on Pulse “5 Deadly LinkedIn Mistakes”:
“You missed the one about posting articles with sensationalized titles to attract readers, which can lead to a loss in credibility of the poster. Deadly? A bit overstated, don’t you think? Unless of course you have numbers on the deaths resulting from LinkedIn mistakes.”
The comment came from someone who was actively job-hunting – his profile headline noted that he was “actively seeking” particular opportunities.
The funny thing is, although he complained about my choice of title, it seems to have done its job. It led him to read at least some of my article. And thousands of people have viewed the post.
The NOT so funny thing is, his mean-spirited comment impacts his personal brand and may tarnish his reputation.
With so many views to the post, it was quite possibly seen by recruiters, hiring professionals and others who could help him reach his career goals. What impression of him do you suppose his foolish comment gave them?
Are snarky LinkedIn comments ever a good idea?
As I noted in my post, 7 Ways To Contaminate Your Personal Brand and Doom Your Executive Job Search:
“At a time when world leaders think nothing of tweeting nasty, defamatory remarks, you may think the rules of social etiquette have loosened. You may think it’s okay now to rage and vent online, and denigrate people who don’t agree with your politics, or way of living, or doing things.
In my opinion, it’s never a good idea to say negative things about people . . . especially in writing . . . anywhere. You’ll never come off well. Better to keep such strong opinions to yourself, or voice them only among friends and family.
However justified you feel speaking your mind, it’s not worth alienating people, especially when you’re looking for a job, and people who can help you land will see what you put out there online.”
You’ll note that I didn’t respond to this commenter’s LinkedIn comment. I never respond to such comments – on LinkedIn updates, my own blogs or anywhere else.
I’ve found that people who are short-sighted enough to post nasty comments are probably not going to engage in meaningful conversation. And I don’t like to call them out or encourage them to continue with their snark, and possibly further damage their reputation.
Why smart LinkedIn comments are valuable
Let’s look at the flip side of snarky LinkedIn comments. Good LinkedIn comments help you:
- Extend your online presence
- Increase brand evangelism
- Expand your network
- Stay top-of-mind with people who can help you meet your career goals
One important caveat: Never put anything in comments (on LinkedIn or anywhere else online) about your job search, if you’re job hunting under cover.
And a tip: Don’t forget to include @mentions and hashtags(#) in your comments.
Four places on LinkedIn to leave comments
LinkedIn offers 4 places where you can post comments:
- LinkedIn posts (or updates)
- Group discussions
- Pulse articles
- Collaborative articles
LinkedIn collaborative articles are a relatively new feature.
You can go right to the source using the link above, or see them in your LinkedIn stream when people in your network comment on these articles.
Smart etiquette for posting LinkedIn comments
✅ Read the full article before you leave a comment, so you’ll really know what it’s all about. Sometimes an article headline and whatever narrative the poster included doesn’t express the full message.
✅ Review other comments already there before you post yours, to make sure you’re not saying the same thing as someone else. If you do plan to say something similar, reply to that comment, instead of to the LinkedIn post itself.
✅ Choose posts to comment on that are on topics relevant to your career goals.
- Be professional at all times
- Be civil. Do not slander, criticize or insult other commenters
- Check grammar, punctuation, spelling before submitting comments
- Add value to the post by adding your thoughts on the topic/issue
- Be sure to keep it relevant to your areas of expertise
- Be generous, gracious and polite
- Don’t self-promote
- Avoid dense blocks of text
- Don’t use ALL CAPS
- Remember, your name, picture and headline accompany every comment you make