Most of the articles you read about social media management are about what you should aim to do. It's good to follow positive guidelines, but sometimes you also need to know what you should be avoiding, so you don't end up making mistakes you didn't even know were mistakes in the first place. This article is going to do precisely that. Here are 5 things you should avoid at all costs when you're managing your Linkedin account:
Forgetting What Linkedin is.
Linkedin is rapidly growing as a social media platform. It's not just about everyone posting their CVs on the same website anymore. Linkedin is becoming more and more like other platforms - Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram. There's a growing focus on interacting with other users, sharing content, reacting to other people's activity, etc. However, Linkedin is not Facebook. No matter how much the "social" part of Linkedin grows, it will remain the premier professional platform. Linkedin tries its best to make the platform as casual as possible, but they always stick to the professional tone at the end of the day.
The easiest mistake you could make is to misjudge the platform for other, more casual, social media platforms. You need to understand Linkedin for what it is. If you don't, you'll be starting things wrong from the very first step. Remember that Linkedin is about professionalism. There is space for your personality to shine through, to make some jokes, and to be yourself, but you shouldn't treat Linkedin as your personal outlet for your thoughts. People aren't on Linkedin to interact with you on a personal level. Feel free to show off your personality as long as you relate whatever you're doing to your professional life.
Having The Wrong Profile Picture.
Your profile picture is the first thing people see about your profile. It's your first impression to everyone on the platform, and first impressions matter a lot. You can do so many small things that would make your profile picture suboptimal, but luckily they're easy to avoid. The easiest is to make sure you have a high quality, clear, well-lit picture. There's nothing like a blurry or unclear photo to make someone click away from your profile. Often people use pictures of themselves but with other people - a family photo or an image of them at a conference. These pictures can be tempting, but you want to be the only person in your profile picture. Even if a photo with others can be nice, other people will be distracting to viewers, making your profile picture less memorable. If you're the only one in it, then it'll be easier for people to remember your face!
One last mistake is not being appropriately dressed for your picture. Remember that Linkedin is all about finding the right balance between personality and professionalism, but if you have to stick to one of those two, it's professionalism. You may have a great picture of yourself in your pajamas, but it's not worth the risk of using that picture. Put on some business or business-casual clothes, and take a nice picture of yourself. You can't go wrong by playing it safe and dressing up in this case.
Neglecting Your Inbox.
When you first sign up for a Linkedin account, you probably experience one of two things: you either forget that you even have an inbox because no one is sending you any messages, or you quickly learn to ignore your inbox since the few messages you get are probably automated messages from marketing bots that are useless to you. Keeping this attitude toward your inbox would be a huge mistake since Linkedin messages are filled with different opportunities that you can't get anywhere else on Linkedin. For example, headhunters will often try to contact you through Linkedin, the same thing with small-scale clients trying to learn more about you and your business. You wouldn't want to miss out on their messages and give up whatever opportunities they are presenting you, so make sure you're always paying attention to your inbox!
Not Putting Enough Time Into Your Profile.
Linkedin profiles, like other social media profiles, are all about precision and quality. If you're being lazy about your profile and miss the mark on it, then your numbers will suffer. Building a killer profile has a lot to it, and it's completely worth the effort. Not giving your profile the attention it needs will just set you back when compared to people competing with you who do put in the time and effort. Imagine you're a user, and you come across two profiles. One is tightly built, is concise, personal, and informative. The other is still good, but it has some typos, formatting errors and is a bit too lengthy. Which one would you choose? Most people would go for the first one.
You don't have to start by making a spotless profile right away, but you can at least double-check to make sure there are no glaring mistakes in your profile. Check your employment history, dates, job titles, and make sure everything is in order. The last thing you want is for a prospective employer or client to visit your profile and think you're lazy.
Asking The Wrong People For Endorsements, Recommendations, or Referrals.
One of the best things about Linkedin is that you can have other people speak for your professional skills through endorsements, recommendations, or referrals. It's incredibly valuable to have other reputable people speak in favor of you, hence everyone wants to take advantage of it. It's true, you should do your best to get people to comment on your skills on Linkedin, but you need to do things honestly. There's no point in asking someone you don't know to write you a recommendation. The odds of them doing it are astronomically low. The upside is already negligible, but the downside is also bad. If you go around asking people who don't know you for undeserved favors, then if, in the future, you do meet them and try to work with them, they may have had a terrible first impression of you. You could even get your account reported for spam, and Linkedin may even suspend you, or you could be flagged by the algorithm and get de-prioritized. There are real dangers to going around doing dishonest work, so play it safe and keep things honest.