Top Five LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid

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LinkedIn is the world’s largest business-oriented service and allows users to network and keep in touch with business contacts and potential clients. When used properly, LinkedIn can help members build stronger personal relationships to facilitate more direct contact and business opportunities. This article will explain several common mistakes that can impact the effectiveness of your LinkedIn marketing strategy. Those who are new to LinkedIn can first read our article, “Making the Right Connections with LinkedIn.”

  1. Having an Incomplete Profile — Having a LinkedIn profile that is 100 percent complete with an accurate description of your professional experience, skills and qualifications will help to optimize your LinkedIn profile and establish your professional identity online. In today’s technological world, a LinkedIn profile is becoming the new resume. To complete your profile, add a photo, list your professional work experience with accurate dates and responsibilities, include skills and expertise keywords in each section and request professional recommendations from your connections.
  1. Not Participating in LinkedIn Groups — There are no benefits to joining dozens of groups on LinkedIn and then not participating in group discussions. LinkedIn Groups are powerful online networking tools for business professionals. We recommend searching for groups that are related to your industry or groups that your potential customers and clients are likely to be active in. Once you’ve requested to join, start participating in discussions and sharing your professional expertise. Users can also participate in the LinkedIn Answers section, when appropriate. By answering other users’ questions in this section, you can boost your authority, online reputation and exposure.
  1. Not Requesting or Giving Recommendations — To build authority on your profile, always request professional recommendations from your contacts and return the favor. These can greatly enhance your profile by giving potential clients and business contacts a clear indication of the quality of your company’s work.
  1. Not Having a Custom URL — One of the most overlooked yet valuable features of LinkedIn is that users can create a customized URL for their profile in place of the default URL. By creating a customized URL with either your full name or your business’ name, prospective clients or customers will have a better chance of finding and recognizing your account. To customize your URL on LinkedIn, click here and then “Customize Your Public Profile URL.”
  1. Requesting to Connect with People You Don’t Know — We don’t recommend sending emails to users who you have never met or spoken to. In some cases, this can get you banned from LinkedIn if enough people report “I don’t know this person.” If you want to connect with someone who you don’t know personally, see if there are any shared connections who may be able to introduce you. You can also develop relationships with users through the LinkedIn Groups’ discussion boards and then send an invitation to connect once you are comfortable enough to do so.

Most of all, it’s important to stay as active as possible on LinkedIn. At a minimum, users should make sure that their profile is 100% complete and use about a half hour per week to browse through LinkedIn Groups and join in the conversation. By consistently updating your LinkedIn profile, maintaining your company page and participating in group discussions, you’ll find that this social networking site is essential when it comes to online marketing, especially for B2B professionals.

For more information about how to avoid LinkedIn mistakes, please contact The Public Relations and Marketing Group at (631) 207-1057 or johnzaher@theprmg.com. You can also visit our blog for more valuable articles, advertising spotlights and more.