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Why you shouldn’t connect Twitter to LinkedIn

January 10, 2011 13 Comments

In the LinkedIn profile settings is an innocuous looking option: "Twitter Settings: Add your Twitter account on your profile." Whatever you do, don't do it. LinkedIn says "It’s easy, and takes only a few seconds" and gives these advantages. You can:

  • Display Twitter on your LinkedIn profile
  • Share Twitter messages with your LinkedIn contacts or groups
  • Share LinkedIn jobs, news, and more on Twitter

This is what happens in practice:

Having anal at the top of my homepage didn't look good

Having anal at the top of my homepage didn't look good

Yes, anyone who was a professional contact of mine on LinkedIn who receives email updates got an update about my tweet that said "I have deleted my last blog post as having anal at the top of my homepage didn't look good."

The reason for that tweet is that I was exploring (for work reasons, honestly) how Google Instant treated rude words (answer: illogically). Tweets I sent that day included:

Blog posts that resulted from this included:

Anyway, in the context of these blog posts, and on Twitter itself (once I explained what I was doing), the tweets made sense. Sent to people in a LinkedIn email update with no context, they must have looked completely unprofessional. And possibly like I was really a 13-year old. Or a pornographer.

So: unhook your Tweets from your LinkedIn profile.

Oh, and to make matters worse - that screenshot above? It's from an email my mum received.

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  • Andy Nattan says:

    Your mum saw that? Does she think you're some sort of online pervert, blogging about his strange preferences?

    I'd have loved to be in on that conversation...

  • Edd says:

    I unhooked twitter from linkedin a while back but not for the reason you mention, although it's a very good one! It was because I started using linkedin but soon found it totally useless. My entire linkedin inbox is full spam or just plain junk. Not to mention that the spammers finding me on linkedin where now able to find me on twitter!
    Maybe I'm from a different world in thinking this but I don't see a problem with blurring the lines between business and pleasure. As in I have no problems with any of my contacts seeing anything I post or blog about. To me it lets customers or peers have an insight into who you are as a person. It's the same principle I use when I choose who to do business with. I want to know all about them and it makes me feel better about doing business with them if I can read their tweets or blog over a period of time to get an idea about what makes them tick as a person. Personally I don't think seeing the word anal in a tweet is something to stress too much about.

  • Gerry White says:

    It is interesting how many people who are currently job hunting (and in the online marketing world) seem to have Twitter accounts which aren't what I would consider a professional face (mine included, not really job hunting, but if one came up ... ) but they are linked, including some repeated off colour language about a recent ref'ing of a football match etc.. Yet oddly their Facebook account seems far tamer, I think they realise that the people who read it include family, friends and co-workers ...

    My Twitter and my Facebook persona are quite different, as it is different audiences (family and friends vs random internet peeps and co-workers)...

    I think that LinkedIn needs a swear word filter (out) as well as a filter in ( #linkedin ) :-)

  • Liz Cable says:

    There are two options when you attach your LinkedIn to your twitter account:

    One is to display all tweets in your profile (which displays all tweeets that aren't replies or mentions).

    The other is to only display tweets that contain the hashtag #in.

    i.e. with this latter option set, when you tweet, if you DON'T include the #in, the tweet will NOT go to your LinkedIn status.

    You can edit what type of connection you have at any time, just click on "edit" next to your twitter account name when inside "edit profile".

    Hope this helps.

  • Great article....I have had similar problems with certain medical terms which relate to a business I run. Running the twitter account for the same client, along with other social media, I do have to be careful about how the terms are used, and who is likely to see them!

    Excellent advice also from Liz Cable, one of your responders. I will certainly look into that.

  • Liz - problem with that is that I find it annoying on twitter when people load their tweets up with hashtags to make sure they're connected to facebook / linked in / some hashtag feed. But that's certainly better than letting them all hit LinkedIn!

  • Marc Munier says:

    I'm a fan of the "liz" approach, I started off sharing all my tweets into LinkedIn and got into a similar situation - inappropriate stuff ending up on LinkedIn. But now I just add the more work related tweets and I'm sorry to say I use the #FB tag as well - sorry Malcolm but really works for me!

  • Adrian says:

    Ouch. Still, could have been a lot worse I guess. I go for the #in option 'though that does mean, of course, that my LinkedIn profile status very rarely gets updated.

  • Marc Munier says:

    Valid I do forget sometimes, but I don't have a huge amount of time to dedicate to "social" stuff personally so this way ensures my linkedIn gets updated more often than it would otherwise...

    Good talking point cheers for posting


  • Mike McGrail says:

    Totally agree! Never ever do this! For me LinkedIn is blighted by people linking their twitter. If I was looking at somebody to hire for a digital role and they had done this, their lack of awareness would put me off!

  • Fiona says:

    I use both Twitter and LinkedIn, and am a big fan of both. However I just want to see business related updates from people on linkedin, not their whole twitter feed, which just fills up my LinkedIn home page with trivia, but doesn't tell me what they are doing professionally.
    You can link them both the other way round,however, i.e. when you post on LinkedIn, it goes to twitter ,but not vice versa. Even better, you get a little tick box next to your LinkedIn status, that you have to tick in order to send it to twitter. I wish people would set it up that way round; it's a much more professional way to use LI, in my opinion!

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