BrightHaus Digital Marketing Agency

6 Ways You Could Be Misusing LinkedIn

March 12, 2019

LinkedIn is an asset in the B2B industry and works well as a networking tool for all businesses. To maintain connections, build new ones, and nurture potential clients, LinkedIn is king. There are countless ways to use this social media platform as a marketing tool. From content distribution to building contact lists, the possibilities are endless.

While there’s no LinkedIn rule book which describes the exact way to use the platform, there are some right and wrong ways to market yourself. For those new to LinkedIn, or struggling to develop a cohesive flow, here are 6 mistakes to avoid.

1. Goofy Photos: LinkedIn is not Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook. There’s a place for fun photography and goofy selfies, but this isn’t it. Remember, even if you’re using a personal profile, rather than a business profile, your account is linked to your brand. Connections who see your photograph will affiliate it with your company and it could be damaging.

To avoid photography disaster, use a professional photo. This doesn’t need to be taken by a photographer at high resolution, but it should be clear and against a neutral back drop. Face the camera, smile, and put your best foot forward with a professional outfit. You’re the face of your brand, so it’s important to always look the part, even in your selfies.

2. Weak Headers: There’s already so much content floating around the internet that delivering a weak heading could cause your profile to be ignored. Your headline should encapsulate who you are, but it also needs to draw in a crowd. Don’t use clickbait or anything too unprofessional, but do use keywords and language which entices connections to click.

Do a bit of digging around and see what other leaders in your industry are writing on their own accounts. This is a great opportunity to see what’s successful and what isn’t based on connection counts. Popular profiles are sure to have some strategies you can work with to build up your own profile.

3. Forgetting a Cover: They say to never judge a book by its cover, but everyone does. That’s why cover images are crucial on LinkedIn. It helps tell the story of you, your brand, and your business. If you leave that space empty, you’re suggesting that either you’re too lazy to fill it in, or you have nothing interesting to add. These are horrible things for potential clients to think about your brand.

If you don’t have a branded cover photo, consider a tasteful stock image which is relevant to your industry. There are many free stock photos for use, some of which are available directly through LinkedIn.

4. Leaving Out Your Skills: You may not want to use LinkedIn as a digital resume, but leaving out skills and recommendations weakens your profile. Remember, even if you’re not trying to sell yourself to an employer, you can always sell yourself to a potential client. Consumers are smart, and they like to see who they’re getting into business with. Keep your skills relevant to your industry and position, and the rest will work itself out.

Don’t worry about coming off as vain. This is a description of you, what makes you great at your job, and how you excel in your field. Take the time to really consider what’s important to you in the workplace. What do you provide to your company that nobody else can? This is what sells you.

5. Ignoring Comments and Messages: Social media is called this for a reason, and while LinkedIn is professional, it’s still considered a social platform. Ignoring connection requests, comments left on your content, or private messages could be missed leads. Whether you’re in marketing, sales, or customer service, missing a connection can be detrimental to your business.

If you can’t keep up with connection engagement, consider hiring a communications rep, or employing automation. Chat bots are a great way to provide some form of feedback to messages. Just be sure you tailor any chat templates, so it’s personal to your brand.

6. Going Generic: Companies who use LinkedIn to market have one final hurdle to overcome; generic conversation. Messaging and commenting becomes tedious when you do it all day long, but still, you need to personalize your content. Even if you use some form of automation, tweaking it to reflect your brand, the customer you’re addressing and the situation is key. Your connections aren’t looking for the brush-off. If somebody is interested in your brand, confirm their interest by being enticing.

There’s nothing worse than finding something you’re interested in learning more about only to find there’s nothing intriguing about it. The same stands for outgoing lead generation content. When you send messages to draw in new connections, contacts and clients, use new, fresh, innovative language.

LinkedIn doesn’t have to be a scary beast. It’s simply a marketing tool like any other you use. When used correctly, it stands to provide you with business support, contact building, and search engine optimization benefits. When used incorrectly, it could damage your brand or leave you looking uninterested.

The best way to see which way your profile is leaning is to check it out for yourself. Look at your profile from a stranger’s point of view. Is your picture professional? Does your headline grab your attention? If you were a potential customer, would your content make sense and describe your brand and product well? These are all things to think about when building your account.