LinkedIn - Don't get uninvited

Posted by Keith Jolie on Thursday, June 13, 2013 Under: Brand Building
We all have them.  That person who makes you dread looking at Facebook.  Their posts make you cringe for any number of reasons and you ask yourself how a person that you like in real life can be such a doofus on line.

I'm not going to lie to you - if you took typing classes in school, didn't have a cell phone as a kid, or remember when McDonald's had a smoking section...this article is probably mostly directed at you because you are probably making these mistakes on LinkedIn.

No matter what letter your generation is connected with however, your efforts to build your credibility or promote a brand on LinkedIn can be hurt if you don't pay attention to what you're posting.  It's one thing if you're annoying a bunch of people you used to know in high school, but if you're committing these errors in a business context you could be ruining your own reputation.  Since our business reputation can be promoted or damaged on LinkedIn, it's worth examining how you are using it and make adjustments if necessary. 

How do I know if I'm a LinkedIn Doofus?

A good test to use is this:  before you post something to LinkedIn imagine yourself at a business meeting saying what you're about to post.   If it would work in that scenario it's probably not going to crash on LinkedIn. 

So.... it's soul searching time.  Here are two big blunders that you may be making or that you can avoid and keep your online credibility intact.  Here we go:

1.  Posting the same damn thing over and over...

I'm connected with someone on LinkedIn who had a consulting business and they posted to twitter and LinkedIn almost every day...with the same message (and their twitter was linked to their LinkedIn account...I'll save that for another note).  They would change the sentence structure or attempt to keep it relevant by referencing the time of year i.e. it's the end of first quarter - are your sales where they need to be? I can help...

The problem is that every single blog post, tweet and update followed basically said the same thing. 
My mom used to say...if you don't have anything original to say - keep your mouth shut.    Actually she didn't say that but she should have because constantly posting your website url, or your Facebook page, the same job, the same promotion, the same link to the same blog post that you wrote 4 months ago or the same ___________ over and over makes you look unoriginal and boring. 

Let's go back to the party or business meeting analogy.  If I walked up to you and just said " should check out my website"  you'd probably think that was weird if it was just out of the blue.    Now the second time I did it, you'd probably think...that's annoying.  The third time you would dismiss me as weird and at some point you'd be looking for security to have me removed from the building. Posting a link to the main page of a business website is pretty useless, and posting any link without giving someone a reason to click it is not going to produce results.   

If you want to drive engagement with your website give someone a reason to go there.  Tell how a specific service you offer helped one of your clients and then link to the service.  Tell about the benefits a new product you offer will solve a problem for your clients and then link to your page for that product. 

2.  Quoting the news...

This point goes hand in hand with what my mom said...check that didn't say, but was probably thinking about being original. 

It's 2013 people....we all read the news and if I'm really interested in a topic I will have seen references to a story or a  a news article maybe three times before you can post it to LinkedIn so if you're going to post a link to an article, you should have something to say about it that adds to the discussion.  Saying "great article from Forbes on...."  doesn't count.  Have an opinion.

Imagine being at a business meeting and simply handing someone a paper and saying "read this"...Now if you walked into a business meeting and said "I just read this article and now is the time for us to re-look at expanding our operations in Africa" that might get more attention. 

If you're going to post a news article - tell me why I should look at it.  LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for demonstrating your expertise, and that's what your original thoughts about the link will do.

There is hope for everyone

In general always remember that people are busy and that to get their attention you'll need to show them why they should pay attention to what you have to say.  In short - add value.

Social Media tools like LinkedIn, are exactly that - tools.  So be sure to use them for the right job at the right time. 
Do you need more help with fitting social media into your marketing strategy?  email me - I'll get right back to you -

by Keith Jolie

In : Brand Building 

Tags: "social media" linkedin brand authority authorship 
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