10 Common LinkedIn Mistakes
With 675 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is the biggest professional online networking platform in the world.
In this article I look at the 10 most common LinkedIn mistakes I see every single day on LinkedIn.
Used wisely, LinkedIn is the best way to find people you want to do business with and to “take the cold out of cold calling”. For example, if you are an accountant and want to meet with finance directors in your area, LinkedIn is the perfect platform to open up conversations with the right people in the right places.
The secret to making LinkedIn activity work is to craft messages that connections not only want to open but also want to read. This is the foremost challenge for most people using the platform.
In our recent LinkedIn Masterclass I covered how to craft the perfect LinkedIn profile so that you stand out from the crowd. Watch the Masterclass
1. No banner image
On both desktop and laptop, LinkedIn gives you the ability to upload a banner image which sits above your profile picture. Many users are failing to take advantage of this part of the screen which allows you to showcase your expertise. It looks like a traditional banner ad.
The banner image is 1,584 pixels wide x 396 pixels tall. You can use the popular software, Canva to create a simple eye-catching design. Click here to find my short video on how to use Canva. The Pro version of Canva costs $9.95 per month and is great value for money. Canva is one of the many tools I use every single day.
Find the Canva Linkedin Banner Templates
2. Not using the new Featured section
As well as failing to have a strong Headline and About section, many LinkedIn users are not taking advantage of the new Featured section which allows you to display a variety of different media such as posts, articles, links, photos, documents and presentations. These all pull in images which stand out, particularly on mobile.
Here is my Features section.
3. Not asking for recommendations
Testimonials are powerful pieces of content online. This form of social proof gives the reader confidence in your product or service. Likewise, it is good manners to give recommendations to connections who have provided you with a good service or outstanding product.
The advantage of requesting a recommendation on LinkedIn is that you can use that testimony on your website too.
To give a testimonial simply visit your connections profile and click on the More button next to the message button.
4. Using too many hashtags
LinkedIn isn't Instagram. You want to use a limited number of hashtags. In fact, in many instances you won't be using a hashtag at all because if someone clicks on a hashtag on one of your posts this will take them away from your update and down a hashtag rabbit hole.
It is advisable to use a hashtag to represent your brand. For example, I would use #homepreneur.
5. Mentioning too many or irrelevant people
Within a post it is possible to tag other LinkedIn members.This means they will receive a notification to say that you have referred to them in an update. Many people use this functionality inadvisedly in an attempt to gain the attention of influencers or people they want to ‘tap on the shoulder’ of but the results can backfire and you are seen as an annoyance.
My advice is to think very carefully before tagging another member. Ask yourself if the tag is a positive addition to your post.
6. Failing to interact
When did you last interact with a post of someone who you would like to build a relationship with? The simplest way to get noticed is to like, comment or share that person's post or article. This has to be done in a genuine way. Think through carefully the comments you make to ensure it adds value to the post.
7. Not adding a note to invitations
If you have carried out a search using filters on LinkedIn to find interesting people to connect with, it is really important to add a note as to why you want to connect with that person. It may be something as simple as “I'm looking to find out more about companies in the Nottingham area. I hope you will accept my invitation to connect on LinkedIn.” Given the opportunity to add a note I would highly advise using that functionality
When using the mobile app it is tempting to simply press connect repeatedly – this is not recommended.
Remember that not everyone will connect with you, either because they do not use LinkedIn frequently or because they do not see your profile as being relevant to their network. Never take this personally.
When we carry out LinkedIn connecting programs for clients we see an average connection acceptance rate between 15% and 35%. Sometimes the industry groups that connect the most are quite surprising. I carried out a project for a company in the security space who wanted to connect to managers of car servicing departments and the connection rate was extremely high at over 35%.
8. Not thanking people
When you connect with people on LinkedIn it is polite to send them a message to thank them for connecting whether as a result of an invitation from someone to you or an invitation you have sent out.
You cannot include a link to your website or other resource when you send out an invitation to connect but once the connection has been made can include a link, photo, gif or emoji in your message.
9. Not sending something useful
If you intend to use LinkedIn to build your reputation and extend your relationship with contacts you already know, it is important to have useful assets to share with your audience.
This might be a link to a blog post or a document such as a PDF brochure.
You can create a professional-looking PDF by using eBook software such as Designrr.
Your connections may not open the first document you send but persist you never know when this might pay off. Clearly, if you are sending irrelevant information you run the risk of annoying your connections. So make sure that you only communicate with people who you know will be interested in your content.
10. Failing to use events
LinkedIn recently introduced a new function called Events. This allows you to create an event with a full description and banner image and a link to your external event page. These events can either be face-to-face or online.
You are then able to send all your connections an invitation to your event. This isn't a perfect system because people will accept your invitation to the event without reading the details but this engagement gives you an excuse to send a follow-up message to those people who have shown an interest.
These LinkedIn mistakes are simple to rectify and will improve the results you get from using the platform to grow your network and build valuable relationships with people you want to do business with or partner with. Integrate LinkedIn marketing into your online marketing action plan to ensure your activities are focused on your business goals.