LinkedIn is a powerful social network to connect with industry professionals, especially for B2B. People use LinkedIn to connect with coworkers and industry peers, get business advice, and even find new jobs. It’s a great place for businesses to make relevant LinkedIn users aware of their brand. However, just like Facebook and Twitter, there are several common mistakes that companies make on LinkedIn.
Here are 9 LinkedIn for business strategies to avoid, as well as how to remedy them.
1. Don’t Answer Questions
The “Answers” section of LinkedIn, where people go to ask their business-related questions, is a place where businesses establish themselves as industry experts and even find new customers. These questions are categorized by industry; anything from finance & accounting to marketing & sales. Avoiding answering questions because you’re too shy or don’t want to invest the time is such a missed opportunity. Take a few minutes each day to look at the new questions in your industry, and see if there’s one you can provide a helpful answer to.
2. Be Overly Self-Promotional when Answering Questions
If you were in a bind and reached out to a community of peers for help, would you want the only response to be “Give me your money”? Of course not. You’d hope for honest and valuable guidance. The “Answers” section of LinkedIn is a fantastic place to find potential customers who have publicly revealed that they have a problem your service/product would solve. Instead of proclaiming that they should hire or buy from you to reach a solution, offer useful advice and let them know to contact you directly if they have more questions. This way, you’ll be building a relationship that will gain their trust, and then they’ll be more likely to turn into a customer.
3. Don’t Join or Participate in Groups
If you haven’t joined any relevant groups on LinkedIn, you’re missing out on a few things. First, being in a group lets you share links with that group, so you can share links to your own blog or site (in a very non-spammy fashion, of course). Second, you can find out the latest industry news, because other professionals post helpful links to groups constantly. Also, they’re a great place to find industry peers to connect with, whether to find new customers or even find fellow industry bloggers who could potentially link to you.
4. Leave Your Profile Blank
Since you’ll be answering Questions and joining Groups with your personal account, you should make sure your own profile is complete so that you can gain people’s trust and establish authority. If people can’t learn anything about you in your profile, they won’t want to connect with you. Describe your role at your current and previous companies, and provide links to your website and any relevant profiles (i.e. Twitter).
5. Leave Your Company Page Blank
Your company page has the potential to gain LinkedIn followers who will see your blog posts, company profile updates, and job openings appear in their LinkedIn newsfeed. But if your company description isn’t filled in, it might prevent people from following you, or even from finding you in the first place. Make sure you optimize your company page by including relevant keywords and links to your website.
6. Don’t Optimize Your Profile for SEO
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for SEO takes only a few minutes, so it would be a shame to miss out on such easy link juice. By adding custom anchor text to the website links on your profile, the links will pass higher-quality SEO authority. To optimize these links:
- Click “edit” next to the website link
- In the Choose dropdown, click “Other”
- Enter the name of your website
- Enter the URL
7. Don’t Promote Your LinkedIn Page on Your Website
Keeping your company’s LinkedIn profile page a secret from your website visitors isn’t a good idea, since these are the people most likely to actually follow you. Add a LinkedIn icon to your website to increase awareness of your presence on LinkedIn. Make it easy for your visitors to find out how to connect with you in social media.
8. Ignore Connection Invitations
Once you provide value in Answers and Groups, people will start inviting you to connect with them on LinkedIn. Don’t just ignore these invitations. Unlike Facebook, don’t feel like you need to personally know everyone that you connect with. LinkedIn automatically sorts your connections based on how you know them; whether through a current or previous job, or through a group, so don’t be concerned about having a network that’s too big to keep track of.
9. Don’t Post Status Updates
It might seem like overkill to post updates on Facebook, Twitter, AND LinkedIn. But it’s not. LinkedIn is a more professional social networking site than Facebook and Twitter, so it’s likely that you’ll have different followers here who will benefit from seeing your updates. It’s ok to re-purpose content across all of the social channels, as long as you’re not duplicating the content.
What would be your #10? Let me know in the comments below!