The Dos & Don’ts of LinkedIn

May 2014
Photo credit: @daynahjay

LinkedIn, the social media network for professionals, can offer its users so much in terms of networking, recruiting, brand awareness, and so much more.

Because LinkedIn offers so much, it’s important to use the channel in the most effective way, so that it can be a true asset to you and your business.

Here are some dos and don’ts to take into consideration when you’re using LinkedIn.

DO describe your field of work in your headline

It’s easy to fall into the trap of listing your position title and your company name in your headline, but by doing this, you are making it much harder for others to determine what exact field of work you’re in.

For example, if you’re an attorney, instead of listing the name of your law firm in your title, which doesn’t say much about the type of law you practice, you can name your precise field of practice (whether it be family, employment, or corporate law), directly in your headline.

By doing this, you make it much easier for your ideal referral partners to find you and connect with you. Because LinkedIn also looks at the keywords in your headline when determining search results, it’s important to use this element of your profile to your advantage.

DO post regular updates

LinkedIn is an excellent place to display your industry expertise. If you regularly blog or produce videos, be sure to share them on LinkedIn. You can also find quality articles that relate to your industry to share on the channel.

DO use a professional photo

Not using a professional photo can be a turn off to many who would otherwise connect with you. You don’t need to spend a ton of money for a proper picture. A simple white background along with professional attire may be all you need to stand out and attract potential leads.

DON’T make others enter your e-mail address in order to connect with you

It is totally fine if you have a personal philosophy to connect with only people you know on LinkedIn (in fact, that may work to your advantage), but by making people enter your e-mail address in order to connect with you can deter many away.

For instance, someone on LinkedIn may know you, but may not know the e-mail address associated with your LinkedIn account. If they enter in the wrong address, you’ll never know that they tried to connect with you.

Instead, it is better to let people connect with you freely, and you can accept or ignore the requests as you please. You can control these settings in your security features.

DON’T forget that it is a social network

Although users aren’t as social on LinkedIn as they are on other social media channels like Facebook or Twitter, it is still a social network, which means you should scroll through your newsfeed a few times a week, and like, comment, and share statuses as you see fit. Don’t forget to also join groups and regularly contribute to group conversations.

DON’T be too self-promotional on LinkedIn

It’s important to post status updates regularly that indicate a level of expertise in your particular field, but there is a way to do this that isn’t off-putting to others. Avoid phrases that aim to hard sell, and instead, word your updates in a way that educates instead of sells.

We hope these tips help you utilize LinkedIn more effectively. For more social media news and tips, you can always find us on Facebook! 

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