LinkedIn is a massive social network – with over 350 million members, it is the world’s third largest social network, behind only Facebook and Twitter.
However, lots of members does not mean that everyone is doing it right – for example, 50% of Twitter users have never actually sent a tweet.
And only around 50% of LinkedIn members actually visit LinkedIn each month. But despite your LinkedIn profile reflecting who you are professionally, there are some mistakes which millions of people are making. Here are the most common ones:
Incomplete Profile: Completing your LinkedIn profile is actually quite a big task. There is a lot of information that LinkedIn would like you to share. And I’m not referring to people filling out 100% of information; just filling in the basics will mean that you are ahead of most LinkedIn members– name (not nickname), your current role, photo and summary.
But this doesn’t just apply to individuals – a lot of companies have not completed their profile by explaining what they actually do. This, along with creating showcase pages for your key products / services, should be a minimum for any company page.
No Photo (or the wrong one): This is probably the most common mistake, and the least forgivable. Not having a photo on your profile screams out ‘this is a spam account’, so what sort of impression do you think this creates? But don’t just use any photo – avoid photos of you at a party, with your kids (if not relevant to industry), overly arty or just of a poor quality. You shouldn’t need to hire a professional photographer, but if you’re going to take the photo yourself, make sure it doesn’t look like you are taking it yourself – no duck-face selfie please!
No interaction: One of the features that I really like about LinkedIn is that there are lots of ways to interact with the community. So not doing so is not making the most of LinkedIn – you can interact via groups, by following and interacting with companies, with your connections and even by posting your thoughts in a status update or an actual post.
It’s called a social network so get social!
Poorly Connecting: There are two big mistakes when it comes to connecting with people. Firstly, receiving unexpected invites to connect from people with whom you don’t have any common ground is unsettling. Have I met these people in the flesh or online; are they a friend of a friend; or are they a completely random stranger? It’s normally the latter!
The second problem is using the default connection request – ‘I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn’. If you over-type this and explain why you would like to connect, then not only is it more personal (and more likely to result in a connection), then it also explains who you are.
Unsolicited InMail: Like regular email, there is etiquette for LinkedIn InMail. But unlike regular mail, InMail doesn’t have a Spam filter so you can expect people to drop you emails requesting all sorts of things! InMail is a powerful marketing tool, but only if the recipient is open to being communicated with. Otherwise, it is spam and deserves its place in the Trash folder.