There seem to be so many rules around using social media from what to post and when, to getting image dimensions right and to bit:ly a link or not! It can be confusing, and I’ve often heard from my social media marketing clients that LinkedIn is the most confusing of them all.
LinkedIn is seen as a professional networking platform by many rather than social media but over recent years it’s merged into a hybrid of both, you can network with people and post about your business, things that interest you, etc. But it’s that hybrid nature that can make it confusing for some folk to really understand the platform and make the most of it.
I covered how to get started with LinkedIn with my blog “7 Supercharged Tricks for LinkedIn Marketing Success” so in this blog, I want to share with you what not to do on LinkedIn!
Don’t act like a sales agent
Have you ever been in a networking meeting when someone has walked up to you, introduced themselves and plunged straight into their sales pitch for a product or service you have absolutely no interest in buying?
Frustrating, isn’t it.
The same principle applies with LinkedIn so don’t connect with someone and then straight off the bat send them a message selling them your products/services.
Ok, you think. I’ll do the polite thing and show I’m interested in them for one or two messages and then I’ll start my sales messaging sequence they simply won’t be able to do this. Please don’t bombard your LinkedIn connections with messages can be seen as spam.
Make your posts interesting and relevant to your target audience and you’ll find the sales naturally happen without you having to push for them.
Don’t be intrusive
Privacy is a concern for most of us and LinkedIn is quirky compared with most social media platforms in that it allows you to see some of the people who have been to visit your profile recently. It can be a useful metric to figure out if you’re attracting your target audience or not but don’t send a message to one of these individuals where you’ve put “I saw you looking at my profile”.
It’s not a comfortable feeling being on the end of one of those messages, especially if you have no interest in working with or buying from that person.
Another privacy related rule to remember is don’t breach GDPR and add your connections to your email lists. It is illegal to add an individual’s data to an emailing list without their knowledge or permission.
Don’t be careless with your profile
A lot of people rush through the sign-up process and upload the best photo they can find at the time, but this often isn’t a professional looking image that gives the right impression to your audience. Don’t upload an “ok photo” make sure it’s as close to a professional headshot as possible and definitely avoid any photos taken on a night out or on holiday!
Don’t have spelling errors in your profile. Leaving mistakes in can be seen as unprofessional with a “if you haven’t taken the time to check your profile will you take the time to do the job properly?” sentiment. Take the time to proofread your profile, have a friend or family do it and even copy and paste it into a word document for a spellcheck to be absolutely sure.
Don’t have a profile and do nothing with it is another aspect to consider. To make the most of LinkedIn you need to be posting regularly, connecting with others and engaging with their posts. If you have a profile but aren’t visible on the platform, you’re not going to achieve LinkedIn marketing goals. Make sure you’re checking your notifications regularly and that you always respond to comments and messages.
One final profile point to be aware of, don’t publish an update if there are people you don’t want seeing it. When you update your profile, for example adding a new job or putting your business on there if you’re still in employment, all of your connections will get a notification about it. This could lead to some difficult conversations so be careful what you share and when.
Don’t overload your connections
LinkedIn is a fast-moving platform, and it can be difficult keeping up with the feed but beware of posting too often to make up for this. Once a day is fine in my opinion if it’s valid and informative content (and weekends are often quiet on LinkedIn so many don’t post then).
Make sure that what you do post has images or video to go with the text. Like with Twitter, visuals entice the audience in to engage with the post which will attract the comments and likes that enable others to notice the post and engage also.
Only ask for recommendations from people who have used your products or services. There was a trend a few years back of people exchanging recommendations when they’ve never worked with each other to make their profiles look good. The problem is recommendations act like testimonials so if they’re fake, you’re not being authentic with your marketing and people can always sense this!
Don’t get behind with the channel
I get it, LinkedIn can be difficult to keep on top of, whether that’s posting, engaging or keeping on top of the feed and what your connections are doing. Use the apps and desktop version of LinkedIn to help and make sure you’re using the analytics available to tweak your performance.
But don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore it if things get too much. If you can’t manage the pace of the channel outsource to a social media marketing expert who can because it’s just too good a platform to be missing out on.