LinkedIn is a great place to connect with potential clients, customers, and people you worked with before and in the present. Many LinkedIn users are not using this popular social network properly, thus making it difficult for them to be successful. It is important to follow these basic guidelines to understand how to make the most out of your LinkedIn profile and activity. Below is a few guidelines of what not to do on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn groups can be a great resource for users that want to connect with other business people in their community, industry, or those that have common interests. However, just because the LinkedIn groups that you have joined share your common interests or location, it is not okay to spam the groups with self-promotional information and other types of advertisements that are not useful to the group. This is seen as an abuse of the privilege of joining LinkedIn group. Please be respectful of other users’ time and only post content or information that is directly useful to those users.
It is okay to share your most recent blog post for an upcoming event in your area that your company is hosting, but repeatedly sharing a link to download an e-book or posting salesy messages will make you look less reputable and people will be less likely to be interested in what you have to say in the future.
Add people you don’t know without introducing yourself
Never add someone to LinkedIn as a connection that you haven’t met in person before or through email/phone, without at least introducing yourself first. The whole purpose of LinkedIn is connecting with people you already know, and trying to add strangers as connections shows US someone that is only interested in expanding your own network, without getting to know the people you are trying to connect to. If you do want to connect with the stranger, in the connection introduction, give a brief overview of who you are and what you do, along with why you would like to connect them.
Have an Incomplete Profile
LinkedIn is continuously updating the options in available profile fields for its users. Be sure to regularly go through your own personal profile, it slows your company profile, and make sure that all available fields are complete and filled in. Not doing so is not allowing you to make full use of what is available on LinkedIn. Stay up-to-date on LinkedIn news and updates so you know when the best times are to add new information to your profile.
Simply filling out your LinkedIn profile and going on your way is it taking full advantage of what LinkedIn offers as far as communicating with others in your field or industry. Join a few applicable groups, answer questions in LinkedIn Answers, and update your profile status regularly. This shows that you are an active LinkedIn user and thus are more reputable to users that are viewing your profile.
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, The Social Robot, where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at The Social Robot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.