There are over 200 million users on LinkedIn. Everyday people are running wild joining groups, connecting with new contacts, commenting on their connections’ status updates, and much more. And everyday, the social media obsessed marketer inside me cringes at all the LinkedIn crimes users make. Before you take another action on LinkedIn, consider what to do and what not do.
- Not treating LinkedIn for what it is – a professional social media channel. LinkedIn is not Facebook or Instagram. If we want to see what you ate for dinner or hear about the great weekend you had at your daughter’s soccer game, we’ll catch you elsewhere. Keep your updates and images professional.
- Having a default photo with friends, or worse, no photo at all. Do make sure the image you post is clear, recent, and does not have anyone else in it. A headshot is ideal. Save your party photos for your online dating profile or Facebook page – no one wants to see them on LinkedIn.
- Connecting with everyone and the kitchen sink. Quality trumps quantity. Don’t request your old high school buddy, your sister’s best friend’s brother’s sister, Jack from a far off land that sounds so shady, it can’t possibly be real. Be selective with who you connect with. Consider connecting with people who you want to do business with now or may want to do business with in the future. What can you learn from them?
- Not being personable. Stop, just stop with the canned LinkedIn messages that LinkedIn automatically generates when you click to connect with someone (you know what I’m talking about). LinkedIn is a social media channel after all – be social, not a robot. When connecting with someone, write a personalized note letting them know why. How can you benefit them? How can they benefit you? P.S. Don’t make that message a direct sales pitch. And, it’s best to connect via desktop – the LinkedIn app won’t let you personalize the invitation message.
- Not filling in your profile. In the age of the Internet there’s no such thing as privacy. Just Google your name and address – I bet something comes up. If you don’t want to share some details about who you are, social media is not for you (and that’s okay, it’s not for everyone)! But if you are going to have a profile on LinkedIn, commit to as much as posting a headline, brief summary with information about who you are, and a job or two you had. I always say, the more information you feel comfortable filling in, the better. Give people a reason to want to connect with you. What do you bring to the table?
- Going endorsement and recommendation happy. If someone asks you to leave them either, it’s okay to politely decline. Mean what you say and say what you mean. If you can’t intelligently speak to someone’s work in said area(s) that you endorse them for, then don’t endorse.
- Using personal profiles as a company page. Every time someone does this, I swear, a bird dies. The personal profile should have information about you. The name on your personal profile should not be your company’s. Company pages are the place for your business.
What are some additional LinkedIn crimes that make you cringe, or on the positive side, what are some things you see users doing that deserve an applause?
Marisa Sanfilippo, Content and Social Media Marketing Director, Fortune Web Marketing