So you’ve created a profile on LinkedIn.
Then you copied the “About Us” from your website and uploaded your logo. And you think you are ready to start promoting your business on this professional networking site that has over 347 million users.
Not quite. There are a few things you should never do on this professional networking site. LinkedIn clearly states that its mission is to “connect the world’s professionals to allow them to be more productive and successful,”
This means family selfies and cute cat photos are not something you should post here.
You might have got a thousand likes and hundreds of shares on Facebook, but this is the corporate world we are talking about..
Some more LinkedIn facts
Before we get to the mistakes you need to avoid here are some other cool LinkedIn facts.
- 2014 revenue was $2.219 billion
- 94% of recruiters use LinkedIn
- 3.5 million of its users have held internships
The LinkedIn mistakes to avoid
To use LinkedIn to its fullest potential you just cannot afford to make certain mistakes; otherwise you’ll end up injuring your brand reputation really big.
Here are some LinkedIn tips on the mistakes you absolutely shouldn’t make when promoting your business on LinkedIn.
1. Don’t talk only about yourself
While it is true that your purpose of being on LinkedIn is to promote your business, talking only about yourself all the time is a big no-no. These are professionals who come to LinkedIn to do business, to learn, contribute and interact. They want something valuable; and shoving your products down their throat is hardly a good way to interact or create a meaningful professional relationship.
By all means, do talk about your new stock delivery, big sales or recent projects to show off your strength and success but it should not be the only thing you do. This way you will only bore your connections and turn them off.
LinkedIn Groups, for example, initially showed a lot of potential but today they are mostly filled with people blatantly promoting their products or brand without adding any value for fellow professionals. A much better way of leveraging this feature is to ask questions or share tips on relevant groups with other like-minded individuals.
2. Don’t make your company page look like your resume
Many entrepreneurs make this mistake while creating their Company Page on LinkedIn. In the description part they mostly write their personal history, achievements and recognitions. If you too are doing this, stop immediately.
To create a rocking LinkedIn Company Page you need to speak about the ways your business can help your potential customers. Also, the description should be focused on your unique selling proposition; tell them “why should a business hire you/or your company over anyone else” in the very first place.
Following are a few points to remember when creating your company page:
- Write a compelling summary and use relevant keywords so that people can find your LinkedIn Company Page via organic search
- Add products and services along with links to purchase them. Also, list your most important product first.
- Use an eye-catching cover image of 646 x 200 pixels
- Add a standard logo of 60 x 60 pixels
- Add jobs and careers information.
- Ask your customers for reviews on LinkedIn.
- Make sure your employees connect with your page.
If your business has several verticals, consider writing your description according to the specific requirements of those verticals. And while you are at it, create a unique LinkedIn URL for your Company Page.
3. Don’t overlook the necessity of updating your page regularly
Your LinkedIn Company Page is more like your Facebook or Twitter handle, i.e. it is a platform to give business updates. It’s about sharing relevant and useful information with your followers in order to entice them so that they proactively come back to your page for more.
While you should update your page regularly, you need to have a proper content strategy for LinkedIn. Now, the question is what kind of content should you share?
Here are a few options:
- Important company announcements
- Discussions, questions, feedback requests, or interesting facts
- Links to new content on your site such as blog posts, white papers, case studies, and press releases
- News related to your industry
- Links to relevant content created by others that your audience would also find interesting/useful
- Share videos to tell your story. More than 50 percent of consumers watch product videos to make online purchase decisions and “online video users are expected to double to 1.5 billion in 2016,” according to Cisco.
If you are having difficulties finding relevant content, you can refer to LinkedIn’s news reader – Pulse. Pulse separates information by influencers or channels. Also, limit your stuffy tech-talking and avoid cringeworthy clichés as much as possible.
4. Don’t ignore people
People talk on social media. They discuss things, post reviews and voice their opinions and grievances. As a brand, you should never ignore what they are saying. Rather, use LinkedIn as well as other social networking sites to your advantage here.
Monitor what people are saying about your product or brand as well as about your competition and industry as a whole. If there are any exciting discussions happening or some controversial news related to your industry that is getting people’s attention, capitalize on them by sharing relevant articles or videos. That being said, you should not just post a link to your content. A much better and effective approach is to share your thoughts on the discussion.
A lot of people use LinkedIn, along with other social media sites, to pose questions and uncertainties that they want answered. These questions or doubts can be your pool of wealth when it comes to creating killer content that address the issues faced by people.
5. Don’t ask your connections to “Like” your Facebook page
This is a big LinkedIn etiquette mistake committed by many businesses, especially small and mid-sized businesses. Random connections beg for “Likes” on their company’s Facebook page or to “Follow” them on Twitter.
It is not just lame but also makes you look ‘needy’. And the professionals on LinkedIn hardly want to interact with someone who is that needy. You can however choose to connect with someone personally on Facebook or Twitter, only after building a relationship with him/her. But sending a message like “Please like my XYZ page on Facebook” is a totally off limits.
LinkedIn is, beyond doubt, an excellent and highly effective professional networking platform that helps you take your business to the next level. However, you need to follow certain etiquette in order to market your business successfully. Just like in your social life, it is imperative to remember how you should behave while interacting on LinkedIn.
Remember that you goal is to humanize the brand. Speaking only about yourself will make you sound like a corporate robot; it’s not something you really want. Your approach therefore should be like a human interacting with a fellow human and in the process personalize your company voice while maintaining a professional and polished tone.