Are You Making These Five LinkedIn Business Marketing Mistakes?
The number one social media site for professionals is LinkedIn. It’s where people go to make connections, build networks, find jobs, and look for employees. So, building a LinkedIn profile is critical for anyone wanting to get in on the action. However, LinkedIn is not an ordinary social media site. Since it is geared exclusively toward professionals, the best profiles on LinkedIn are just that – professional. If you want to integrate successfully into LinkedIn in order to build your own network of connections, you must start by writing a good LinkedIn profile. To help you in that endeavour, here are five mistakes you should avoid.
1) Too Much of a Good Thing
Yes, your LinkedIn profile should be optimised, and yes, you should include relevant keywords that potential clients may use in a search. However, don’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing is a good way to get an account blocked, reported or ignored. Instead, use keywords naturally throughout your profile and in your summary and headers.
2) Keep Social Media Accounts Separate
LinkedIn is a social media site, but it is for professionals connecting with other professionals. Do not treat it like Twitter or Facebook. Here are some behaviours that may be acceptable on casual social media that you should never engage in on LinkedIn.
- Do not ask people to ‘like’ you on Facebook.
- Do not post negative, spammy, or self-serving comments in groups (you’ll end up dropped from the group, or on the moderator’s radar).
- Do not over post – once or twice a day is plenty.
- Do not focus on numbers. Nurture each relationship.
In other words, everything you do on LinkedIn should be filtered through a screen of professionalism. If your comments, profile, or even your profile picture, are less than professional, you will lose out on quality connections and leads.
3) Make it Personal
When sending connection requests, do not use the default text provided by LinkedIn. Every new connection merits a personalised message that focuses on the potential business relationship. Let new contacts know that you are looking forward to becoming acquainted through LinkedIn. You can certainly mention your line of work, or even include a link to your business site, but the initial interaction should never include a sales pitch.
4) Your Network is NOT an Email List
Just because someone else on LinkedIn reaches out to you does not mean that he is interested in being deluged with promotional emails and messages. If you have an interest in using LinkedIn to expand your email list, try mentioning your newsletter in your profile. Alternatively, you can list it in the Publications section and include a link to a landing page where readers can sign up. (However, that may end up backfiring if your ‘publication’ ends up being nothing more than a glossed over sales pitch that contains no value added content.)
5) Give Them the Full, Honest Picture
Leaving your LinkedIn profile unfinished is unprofessional. If you aren’t even willing to complete your profile, why would people trust you to follow through on professional commitments? Also, adding false information is just self-sabotage. If you lie, people are likely to find out. The best profiles on LinkedIn are those where every section is accurate, honest, and complete. The more information you provide, the better picture your potential contacts will have of you.
Speaking of pictures… One final note about your profile. Only use a professional profile picture. You can use a headshot or your company logo, but remember that your photo will represent your brand, and it will be the first thing people see. So, select one that is polished and professional.
LinkedIn can be a marketer’s dream. However, it can also become a nightmare in short order for marketers who don’t create a professional profile, or for those who don’t behave professionally at all times. By avoiding the five huge mistakes on this list, though, you will be well on your way to LinkedIn success.
Article by Leanne Mordue