People who are serious about success are swapping Instagram for LinkedIn
Don’t follow the herd. If you’re serious about using social platforms to boost your career, it’s not Instagram where you want to be, it’s LinkedIn.
Instagram is the most talked about social media channel in the world right now. Whether you’re keeping up with the latest updates by your favourite celebrities, or a business trying to boost your brand, it seems Instagram is the place to be. Influencers such as Gary Vaynerchuk praise Instagram to the skies. Instagram’s users number 800 million and that number is growing all the time.
However, if you’re serious about engagement, business, selling, progressing your career, anything where success is the end result, Insta is not where you should be spending all your time. LinkedIn is the place where you should be. Here’s why.
Look at your Instagram feed if you have one. What’s on there? Be honest. Anything important? Or is it mainly fluff, trivial content? Is it mainly advertisements, or content which has clearly been paid for, sponsored content? Is it people or brands fishing for likes?
The comments section of the posts that are actually interesting. What’s in there? Anything that adds to the conversation or just more nonsense? People trying to get their own names out there, or kissing up to the celebrity concerned.
It’s no wonder that Instagram is not the place to go if you’re looking for serious engagement. So many times your posts get lost in the algorithm. Sprout Social estimate that 70% of Instagram posts never get seen.
Instagram is great entertainment, mainly because none of it is real. Instagram essentially invented the photo filter, and it’s become a metaphor for the entire social channel. Let’s put the airbrushed models and self-proclaimed celebrities to one side. I want to talk about the so-called entrepreneurs on Instagram.
You must have seen them. Flashing wads of $100 bills on their own private jets to Las Vegas, or showing off their shiny new Lamborghinis or yachts in Miami. Thirty hashtags expounding on the virtues of ‘the grind’ and ‘startup life’. Do you really believe that’s their lifestyle? More likely that these wannabes have rented their Lambo for an hour, solely for the Instagram photo.
You very rarely see anything new on Instagram. Sure, if you like pictures of other people’s lunch or legs by a swimming pool, you’ll always be satisfied by Insta. If you like hashtags, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for.
However, if you’re looking for real insights into the human condition, or advice on how to improve yourself, you’re likely to come away disappointed.
On a more serious note, and one you know is very relevant to my interests, Instagram can actually be harmful to your mental health.
A 2017 study by the Royal Society for Public Health showed Instagram is the worst social media platform for negatively impacting the mental health of young people.
The overblown, over-airbrushed, ‘look at me, aren’t I brilliant?’ images that you see all the time on Instagram are not designed to boost people’s confidence, especially if they’re already in a low place. Imaged-focused environments like Instagram can easily make people feel inadequate and anxious. It shouldn’t be like this.
There’s a time and place for business as well as pleasure. Work is an important part of life. Sure, not everyone enjoys their work, and Instagram can provide a necessary, momentary escape if you’re in that situation. However, if you’re lucky, you love your work and you want to be better at it.
You won’t find much help in that regard on Instagram. Instagram is not a work-related social platform at all, despite those hashtag entrepreneurs and their private jets. The true social platform for work is LinkedIn, and that’s why people who are serious about progressing in their careers are spending less time on Insta and more time on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is more than a place to post your CV, it’s an amazing platform for building deep and long-lasting connections, talking about things that can actually help you in your life, and even snaring clients and making money.
Check your LinkedIn feed. You won’t see airbrushed photos or set-up situations with no bearing on real life. You’ll see genuine conversations featuring interesting people, with an open invitation for you to contribute. You’ll see people who can help you, actually asking to connect with you. You’ll see articles providing a fresh perspective on subjects relevant to your life, today.
Social selling via LinkedIn is probably the most effective way to build your client base right now. If you’re looking for a new role, you’ll find the recruiter that can help you on LinkedIn virtually 24/7.
Can you find those on Instagram?
I hope you enjoyed my slightly tongue-in-cheek views on the Instagram vs LinkedIn debate. In life, there’s a place for everything, and Instagram provides entertainment as well as anybody. Also, don’t get me wrong, there are more than a few ‘look at me, aren’t I marvellous?’ merchants on LinkedIn as well.
However, if you’re serious about being successful, LinkedIn is a free resource that can power your progression. Ignore it at your peril.
Over to you now. What do you love and loathe about Instagram and LinkedIn? I’d love to hear your views. Leave a comment below.