Using the LinkedIn Status Update Box to share pertinent business information is a strategy that will pay big dividends when used correctly. Note the emphasis on the word business.

That is not to suggest you should never use the Status Update Box to share personal information or make personal requests, but strictly personal information should be kept to a minimum—or shared on Twitter or Facebook, where such material is not only expected but encouraged.

The LinkedIn website states, “LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities…”

Exchanging knowledge and ideas with your network will build the trust that is necessary to create an atmosphere for positive collaboration and financially advantageous opportunities.

Follow these rules when using the Status Update Box, and you will be on your way to building strong professional relationships that will provide a steady stream of sales and referrals.


1.  Share links (using a URL shortener) to interesting articles, websites or video that individuals in your network might appreciate. Don’t worry about whether all of your connections will find the information equally valuable. Use engaging words to grab the readers’ attention and encourage them to click the link.

2.  Pose a question that could lead to solving a problem you have, like: “Does anyone know some good controller candidates?” One of my connections saved $20,000 in recruiting fees by posting an update like this a couple days before calling a recruiter.

3.  Conduct an informal poll of your network relating to a topic of interest to you, such as: “What interest rates are you seeing for lines of credit in the current environment?”

4.  Mention a person or a situation that might be helpful to some of your connections; for instance, “I just met with John Jones from ABC Insurance Company and found out they are saving companies lots of $$ on workmen’s compensation insurance.”

5.  Talk about an event you are attending or have attended to encourage involvement and/or questions about what you learned there.

6.  If you are a job seeker, don’t say, “Hey, I’m still looking for a job.” Rather, mention job fairs you are attending, people you are interviewing with, networking events you are going to, etc.

Remember—having your name show up on a consistent basis on your entire network’s home page is extremely important whether you are in job-seeking mode or not.

7.  Use the “Like” feature when you see a helpful update from one of your connections. This shares the update with your entire network and is a great way to give the writer of the helpful update exposure to your network that he/she wouldn’t normally have.



1.  Mentioning personal information—like what you had for breakfast and the fact your dog is sick today—is unprofessional and suggests to your network that you don’t really respect their time.

2.  Continually talking about specific products and services takes people back to the days of big newspaper ads and screaming radio messages. This is not the purpose of social media, especially LinkedIn.

3.  Avoid topics that might be sensitive to some of your audience. I am too embarrassed to even think about, let alone share, some of the items I see posted as status updates. You know what I mean. If your mother wouldn’t want you talking about it, don’t put it in your LinkedIn Status Box.

4.  Think twice before posting your physical whereabouts. I have heard several real-life examples of people’s homes being broken into after putting out an “I-am-out-of-town” update. (Sorry, all you Foursquare users, but I had to share that.)

5.  The LinkedIn/Twitter interface is causing people to have too many LinkedIn updates as well as inappropriate updates. If you are using that interface, be selective about the updates you share between the two platforms. LinkedIn and Twitter are designed with different purposes and strategies.

6.  The netiquette on LinkedIn is no more than a couple updates per day, whereas on Twitter you are expected to tweet many more times per day.

7.  Don’t waste your time reading updates from people who violate all of the above. By using the “Hide” function, you can stop an individual’s status updates from showing up on your home page.

When you see an annoying status update and decide you do not want to see any further updates from this person, simply scroll over to the right side of the status update and unveil the word “Hide.” Once you activate this function, you will be freed from receiving further updates from this individual.

Follow these simple suggestions, and you will be on your way to being a model LinkedIn citizen whose position of respect and authority will pay big dividends.

Author: Wayne Breitbarth