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The company I work for is currently in a process of trying to increase its visibility, especially through a lot of LinkedIn post to promote article on our blog or to share non work-related animation.

In this effort, management incentivize us to use our personal accounts to relay those publication and then attain a larger audience. I wasn't at ease with sharing some of those posts to my private network, so I choose not to follow up on this recommendation.

To my surprise, I was contacted soon after by the colleague responsible for this LinkedIn campaign (who is higher than me in the hierarchy) who asked me why I didn't participate in this "common effort" and if I could do it ASAP, as it was somehow my duty as an employee. I didn't want any further problems so I finally complied to his request.

Is this a common practice and should I obey when my employer ask me to use my personal account for work-related task?

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It's not uncommon for companies to ask if employees mind sharing such posts - but it's less common (and in my view unacceptable) to demand that employees do so. Your personal LinkedIn account is just that personal, the fact that LinkedIn is a more work-orientated platform than say Facebook is irrelevant, it's still your account and your personal network and you get the ultimate say over what gets posted there.

Business pages and profiles are a thing on LinkedIn and are the appropriate place for them to post stuff like this - they are just scrabbling for any visibility, and what they're doing is not only inappropriate but it doesn't tend to be particularly effective in my experience.

should i obey when my employer ask me to use my personal account for work-related task ?

To be honest if an employer asked me nicely I would probably do it without much thinking about it. The not-so-subtle demand on the other hand would probably make me want to refuse out of sheer stubbornness/principle, but ultimately as with so many other things it comes down to picking your battles - if this is something you feel strongly enough about to dig your heels in over.

You mention the location as being "Western Europe" so they are unlikely to be able to fire you for refusing (you aren't exactly in their marketing or social media departments from the sound of it), but that doesn't stop them labeling you as "not a team player" and that affecting you negatively in other ways.

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    You know what moto, I actually believe that if our OP told the clown involved to piss off, and, furthermore, said in clear terms that the idea of an actual, real, valuable, scientific engineering company pandering to social media is plain embarrassing .. I actually believe that would play well with anyone at the company who really matters. I mean you have to draw the line somewhere. – Fattie Oct 14 at 14:58
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    third paragraph is so true for me, the more they insist on a ridiculous demand, the more unwilling I am to do so. – encryptoferia Oct 15 at 1:49
  • "To be honest if an employer asked me nicely I would probably do it without much thinking about it." This makes it sound a little as if you think OP shouldn't have refused in the first place. Not sure if you meant that to be part of the answer (don't think too much about it, just parrot and spam whatever your employer tells you to... imo this happens all too often). – Luc Oct 19 at 8:41
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I had a feeling this would against LinkedIn's Terms of Service, so I checked.

There was nothing directly in the ToS, but it linked to a document called Professional Community Policies that was relevant:

Be Trustworthy


...
Do not share false or misleading content: ... Do not share content or endorse someone or something in exchange for personal benefit (including personal or family relationships, monetary payment, free products or services, or other value), unless you have included a clear and conspicuous notice of the personal benefit you receive and have otherwise complied with our Advertising Policies.

(The last two words is a link, but it is not very relevant)

So, you need to add a conspicuous notice that you are sharing this link because you would be fired otherwise.

... or you could say to your colleague that you would have to include such a notice and ask if they still want you to share. They probably won't.

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is this a common practice

It's very common for company to ask. It's less common, though not unusual for companies to pressure employees to comply.

should i obey when my employer ask me to use my personal account for work-related task ?

That's a personal decision you need to make based on the dynamics within the company.

It's not something I would do - I liked to keep my personal online life separate from my work life. But I was never in a position that any company pressure would bother me.

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  • "That's a personal decision you need to make" That can be answered to most questions on this stackexchange, yet doesn't really help anyone. I think OP is asking for advice on what to do in this situation, not whether it's their decision depending on their situation/their company's dynamics/... This should probably be converted to a comment along the lines of "It's uncommon but not unusual to pressure employees into this. I personally wouldn't do it, I like to keep it separate and was never in this position." (The relevant parts fit in their entirity alongside another comment.) – Luc Oct 19 at 8:59
  • If I had more to say than existing answers already contain, I would indeed post my own answer. Since I don't, I voted for the one that seems most helpful to me and commented on those I have remarks about. Is that not how the SE model works? Posting redundant answers just to have more voices saying the same thing seems counter-productive to the Q&A format and more suitable for a forum thread or other places where there is no system with visible vote counts for helpful answers or remarks. – Luc Oct 19 at 16:11
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should i obey when my employer ask me to use my personal account for work-related task ?

That depends on what you value more:

  • making your own decisions on how to use your personal account

or

  • your employment at this company

If the company is simply asking then you can politely decline if you do not feel comfortable using your personal account. Any reasonable company will have no issue with your decision. If the company is demanding that you use your personal account, and implying or threatening you with consequences for failure to do so then I would start looking for a new company to work for.

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  • That's a bit of a false dichotomy. Those are not the only two things you might value. E.g. one of those options means you value integrity and the other potentially signals the lack thereof to a future employer. Assuming the employer's messages aren't genuinely interesting and intrinsically worth sharing (otherwise your current employer needn't ask, let alone strongly suggest), I would not necessarily consider an interviewee/candidate's page being littered with promotional material to be a positive thing. – Luc Oct 19 at 8:53

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