At the inception of social media, sharing the details of your personal life—be it a birth, a death, or what you had for breakfast—was the whole point. Then LinkedIn arrived, notably setting itself apart as “Facebook for suits,” where users were encouraged to check their personal lives at the login screen—but are they?
It’s not so clear lately. One study found that last year, eight in ten CEOs globally shared personal content—which received the highest level of engagement when compared to non-personal posts. Our experts say that factors like the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and rising interest rates have created heightened uncertainty, and people are looking for relatable leaders to offer solutions.
The question still remains as to how much vulnerability is too much, but slipping on the social media straitjacket may no longer be good for business. “Hybrid work has brought people into our homes virtually,” says Tamara Rodman, a Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner in the Culture, Change & Communications team. “People are now expecting a little more humanity from their leaders.”
Our experts say posting more images is one way that HR leaders can build greater connections with employees and candidates alike. In the first quarter of last year, more than half of LinkedIn posts reportedly contained photos. Indeed, LinkedIn has reported that including images in posts leads to a 2x higher comment rate.
However, in most cases, photo content should still ideally have a connection back to your job, says Sarah Jensen Clayton, a Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner who leads the firm’s Culture and Change capability in North America. If, for example, you’re sharing a photo of your long walk on the beach, maybe include that you’re reflecting on the recent win or breakthrough in your role. “That way it’s not random and people say, ‘oh that makes sense,’” says Clayton.