13 LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid

LinkedIn Mistakes

LinkedIn, the socially connected professional network, has made numerous changes over the past few months to become more thank a job resource. The changes have made it a viable tool for people to connect, discuss, get answers to questions as well as connect with people that they just may be working with in the future. The future of social media marketing is bright and the tools we use today are building blocks for what is yet to come. Creating profiles that are complete and honest are just the beginning. Many of these have been written time and time again but as I look to connect with new people, I still see the same mistakes being made.

13 LinkedIn Mistakes to Avoid

1. Default URL. Increase your personal branding so easily by changing the default to a personal URL. Click Edit Public Profile Settings in the top right and then edit your Public Profile URL to your name.

2. My Website/My Company. Keeping the default is asking people to look above to see who your current employer is and then go back and click on it. It is a simple change: On your profile, click websites, then at the drop down, click “Other” and then type in the name and descriptive terms

3. Private Profile.  As social media is evolving with Google’s live search, Bing/Twitter as well as Google’s Social Search what was private is not anymore.  Go public so people can find you.

4. Joining Groups.  The maximum amount of groups you can join is 50. While that seems like a lot, how many people are at the max? There are so much information to contained within groups – news, discussions, slide shares that failing to join groups is missing out on an opportunity to connect.  50 is not always the easiest to keep up with and connect with all members but the information shared in the groups is very valuable.

5. Lack of Participation in Discussions. Social media is about connecting and building relationships – talking to people. Taking part in discussions gets you noticed as well as keeps the conversation going and the sharing of information, viewpoints and knowledge.

6. Not Asking/Answering Questions. Asking questions and getting feedback from others is not only free, it many times does give you answers that you were seeking.  Answering questions allows you to share what you know and build a reputation within your industry.

7. Linking Every Tweet. Pushing every tweet to your LinkedIn status is noise.  I am a very big fan of Twitter, on twitter. Having people that I am connected with on LinkedIn to see every tweet is not the proper forum. Selected tweets of articles read and worth sharing, absolutely but every tweet, no.

8. Lack of Company Page. As a business owner, a company page is another way to get found. Create a company page so that people know you are there. There had been some hesitations as each employee that adds you as an employer is linked to you and once they leave, they can speak about the company in a manner that is not consistent with company policy shall we say.  Months ago this was a factor but with the social media tools available there is no excuse for not having a company page.

9. Incomplete Profile.  Lack of a photo (or updated photo), complete summary and custom title.  President does not cut it anymore.  People do not search for president, CEO, etc.  Your summary is your chance to let people know what you do and how you can help them.

10. Connecting & Then Selling. It is not a forum for a sales pitch. Similar to auto dm’s in Twitter. People who connect with you have to agree and they will look to find out what you do. Sending a thanks for connecting with a sales pitch is asking to be ignored.

11. Not Updating Status.  Every tweet is overkill but not updating your status is showing people that you are not active. Inactivity is showing that you are an infrequent visitor. Be active. Let people know what you are involved in, reading, etc.

12. Failing to Comment on Comments. This is similar to comments on our blog. If someone comments, then respond to them. You are asking them to read, they are responding, take time to acknowledge their efforts.

13. Not Giving or Asking or Recommendations. Giving is easier than asking.  I do not like to ask for them as I think that if I give one then that is sort of a nod back to that person to maybe give one back.  Bad strategy … probably but the importance is to give and then ask.

As you go and look at your LinkedIn profile, look for ways to improve.  We are all on limited time and to check this profile, that one and the newest one that comes out is not easy. Staying involved with certain platforms that are making changes is a sign for what is to come.

Agree? What have you done to enhance your profile and stand out?

photo credit: usingsocnetforprofes

  • 6 Biggest LinkedIn Mistakes: http://tinyurl.com/yjlyj49
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 8:31 AM by Paul

    Thanks for the great tips~I'm going to check my account now!
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 9:54 AM by Cynthia Cavoto

    Excellent post. And I agree with you about auto-linking LI to Twitter. I don't think it's a great idea either.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:21 AM by Doreen Pendgracs

    This is a great summary of important items to think of when using Linkedin. Linkedin is a great tool if used in this manner. Thanks for taking the time to accumulate this list.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 10:49 AM by Dan Lively

    Paul – thanks for adding a link to an article you wrote. Not connecting with former co-workers is one that many do not think about. Great addition to add value to this post.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 11:56 AM by Suzanne Vara

    Great advice. I just shared your blog with my colleagues.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 2:36 PM by Justin

    Cindy – I wrote this list from seeing that people do and what I have done on LI that should not have been done. It is so easy to forget to take a peek at our own profiles and make minor adjustments.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:08 PM by Suzanne Vara

    Doreen – yeah, I know I do not want to read every tweet that people write. Really no-one cares when I am chatting with my friends about the mets or the jets.

    Dan – with the changes at LI, a refresher was needed as well as some new things.

    Justin thanks, I appreciate that.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 3:12 PM by Suzanne Vara

    The given information are very useful and important in the process of marketing our profile online. A good post to share with every one..thanks and keep it up sharing your ideas.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 7:48 PM by Baldev Garlyal

    Suzanne, I love your posts. They are targeted and well organized and presented. I agree with all your LinkedIn instructions, but I'd be happier if you “practiced” what you preach.
    Specifically #12.
    I don't get many comments from you on my comments and my RT's of your great articles.
    Re: #13 The jury is out on Recommendations ESPECIALLY when people ask for them. Personally, I think recommendations are wonderful when people give them because they WANT to, not because they've been asked.
    Posted @ Tuesday, December 22, 2009 11:30 PM by Shari Weiss

    I am confused here. I have responded to just about every comment on this blog that has ever been written. I get notifications on LI of the comments and respond to people there as well. There have been times that I have missed a few notifications and yes, there are times it takes a few days but I am pretty much on top of the comments.

    I do thank you for pointing this out and taking the time to comment to show the importance of bloggers responding to their comments.

    Retweets – I do not recall seeing any. I am @suzannevara. Thanking for a retweet is just as important as commenting to a comment. I will be sure to keep an eye out for these.

    Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2009 12:24 AM by Suzanne Vara

    I want to thank you for being so generous. It is fun to see what cool thing you will remind us of each visit to linkedin. So, if you were wondering of the effect you have, it is priceless.
    Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2009 8:47 AM by Michele Price

    Very helpful article and made me go back and check my profile. Didn't realize how important it is to be active even on your profile. Always open to learning new things.

    Thanks and happy holiday
    Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2009 9:02 AM by fran zeiler

    thanks, Suzanne, for the speedy acknowledgement
    Commenting on other people's blogs is one of the most recommended ways to get people to read your own blog — or so I've read.
    But commenting solely for that purpose seems senseless to me.

    I like commenting on your articles because they are so appropriate to everything that I am learning and practicing at the moment.

    Plus, it seems to me that blog commenting on some kind of regular basis is a great way to build community. And I like your “community.”

    Keep on keepin' on.
    Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:40 AM by Shari Weiss

    If you wait for someone to give you an a recommendation on LinkedIn you could be waiting a long, long while. For this reason I agree that you should encourage your co-workers, peers and clients to write a recommendation for you. However I think it's very insincere to write a recommendation for someone just to receive one in return.

    Here's a suggestion for getting recommendations on LinkedIn as well as testimonies for your website:

    Ask the person to share their experience or result about the work you performed. Tell them that their comments will help you obtain more opportunities to do this for others.

    People are more willing to help when they are asked, especially when you tell them how their actions will help you achieve something in particular.

    Sonya Carmichael Jones
    Web Copywriter, Internet Marketing Consultant
    Posted @ Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:58 AM by Sonya Carmichael Jones

    Thank you so much for jumping in. Honored, humbled. See you all the time on twitter sharing such valuable info. @prosperitygal is a good follow for all the twitter folks!

    I blog on what I have learned but yet tried.

    Thank you so much Michele for stopping by and also for the recommendation.
    Posted @ Thursday, December 24, 2009 2:07 AM by Suzanne Vara


    Yes, commenting on a blog just to comment is useless. It was not in this blog but I did speak about commenting on blogs but to comment often if you like them. While sometimes it is hard to return to comment as the writer may hit a point that you like and can comment on and the next day go in a diff direction but that is not always the norm.

    Love the comments to make me think and think.
    Posted @ Thursday, December 24, 2009 2:15 AM by Suzanne Vara

    Sonya – Great insight. Recommendations are hard to give and ask for at times. I thank you greatly for the comment as I have seen the same habits where a recommendation goes in and then here is another one back. Personally my rule of thumb is if I cannot gush then cannot give one. I

    I hope that readers of the blog read the comment as this is such great info!

    Posted @ Thursday, December 24, 2009 2:25 AM by Suzanne Vara

    Suzane, just a tip for helping you to stay up to date on the RT and T is a toll called TweetDeck…….very useful. And great article, by the way…… almost done in my profile.
    Happy hollydays.
    Posted @ Friday, December 25, 2009 2:28 PM by Luiz Carlos Conte

    Luis – I am a big fan of tweetdeck. I have it open all day and night. I find it to be such a valuable tool for staying connected on twitter.

    thanks for bring this to the forefront.
    Posted @ Saturday, December 26, 2009 3:10 PM by Suzanne Vara

    Charle – Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. LinkedIn is such a great tool and there are simple changes to make that do have a big impact on your profile. As LinkedIn grows I am sure this list will change or be added to.
    Posted @ Monday, December 28, 2009 12:20 AM by Suzanne Vara

    I discovered this article just as I've been assessing how I use LinkedIn and searching for a way to make it more meaningful. Thank you!
    Posted @ Wednesday, December 30, 2009 2:49 PM by Margaret

    Margaret – Great to see you taking the time to see how you can get more out of LinkedIn. It is a great tool that continues to grow and allow more sharing and chances to interact.

    Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I appreciate you dropping in.
    Posted @ Wednesday, December 30, 2009 3:50 PM by Suzanne Vara

    I will continue to follow your blog, Suzanne. This was a valuable set of tips. I've found LinkedIn to be one of the better connected, informative social media sources available. What I learn from my groups is priceless. Keep up the great work!
    Posted @ Thursday, December 31, 2009 10:27 AM by Jill Freeman, Digital Harbor

    Thanks for the tips. I haven't done much with Linkedin in the past, but I am planning on taking advantage of the possibilities in the coming year.
    Posted @ Thursday, December 31, 2009 11:53 AM by Jim Smoot

    Jill – Thanks for the kind words. LinkedIn will continue to be a resource for social media as well information on many industries. We have just started with technology as it relates to social media and being in groups and having that presence on LI and other platforms that work for you are a step in the right direction.
    Posted @ Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:40 PM by Suzanne Vara

    Jim – I will keep my eye on you this year. LinkedIn is really emerging as an information source for questions and answers as well as personal connections that are not about twitter or facebook but about interacting in groups that are of interest.

    Posted @ Thursday, December 31, 2009 3:43 PM by Suzanne Vara

    Hi Suzanne and Jim, Jill, Margaret, Charlie, Luis, Sonya, Michele, Paul, Cindy, Justin, Dan, and Doreen — I'd love to Link up with any and all of you NOW that we are all in Suzanne's community
    Posted @ Thursday, December 31, 2009 5:11 PM by Shari Weiss

    Nice post.
    I don't agree with you that you have to give a recommendation to get one. As you know there is default LinkedIn feature that allows you to request for a recommendation to many number of people. You certainly won't have time to recommend them all if you have more than 100 people on your list.
    If you certainly believe that you are worthy of a recommendation, you should ask and earn regardless.
    Posted @ Monday, January 04, 2010 11:31 PM by David Lee

    David – I do not necessarily think that you have to but it is a nice nudge. Some are very resistant to give recommendations as they are afraid of how it will affect THEM and not how it will help you. I am going to say that I believe we will be seeing much more in the recommendations this year as it is a part of engagement and since social media is about engagement, how much you are active and recommend people very well will be a factor as it shows that you are a team player and recognize someones efforts.

    I agree that the recommendations are earned as you point out at the end.

    thanks so much for adding your thoughts, I appreciate!
    Posted @ Tuesday, January 05, 2010 12:19 AM by Suzanne Vara

    Great article, Suzanne! I went back and took another look at my profile and did indeed find some things to update. My goal this year is to more regularly post updates to my status, something I haven't been good it so far.
    Posted @ Tuesday, January 05, 2010 5:51 PM by Margaret


    Thanks for writting these tips, their very helpful and I already made a few changes to my own profile.

    I found that former co workers were more then willing to write recommendations for me, some patience is requires after making the request, everyone's busy with work and family, the last thing they want to do when they get home is sit down and write about someone.

    If I can add to your list, here are a few things that people should do which I have to admit I did not do myself but sure wish I had.

    When your working on a project with other people, ask for their recommendations following the end of that project while it's still fresh in their minds and before moving on to new projects

    Don't wait until your looking for your next opportunity to add contacts to LI, its easy to build your network over time and you might find that the effort comes with a reward like a new position!

    That's my two cents worth,

    Posted @ Thursday, January 07, 2010 9:37 AM by Keith

    This is the sign of a Really Great Article: the fact that people continue to find it and continue to add to the conversation
    Although I've commented twice previously, I notice that a few of the commentors are mentioning their profiles, so I thought I'd add my 2 cents in the way of a link to my article on Formatting your summary on your LinkedIn profile: http://sharisax.com/2009/10/06/the-magic-of-lin
    Posted @ Thursday, January 07, 2010 7:03 PM by Shari Weiss

    Keith – Excellent advice to get people to write the recommendation when you are working on the project. That is great as if all is going well, they will gladly provide the recomm.
    The waiting to add contacts until you need them is such a bad way to go about it. Hi, I am so and so, great to meet ya, oh can you help me a get a job? Sometimes it is unavoidable but for the vast majority of the time, it is great practice to contact people when you do not need them so that when you do, they are there to help.
    Posted @ Friday, January 08, 2010 3:16 AM by Suzanne Vara

    Thanks for jumping in again. You are always welcome to throw in your $.02 as many times as you like.

    Thanks for adding your article link, I am heading over right now to dive in.
    Posted @ Friday, January 08, 2010 3:18 AM by Suzanne Vara

  • Suzanne I like this.
    #3 I always am concerned that too public will have Linkedin competing with my website in search (their bigger of course LOL) .

    #10 I don't even sell or try much at all there. Thats like trying to sell you consultant and advisers. Linkedin is the ultimate database for knowledge.

    #13 another thing you can do is use the recommendations as testimonials for your character. How can the FTC say you made that up??? LOL

  • Darren

    Always great insight esp with #13 as really how can you say that it was made up. Selling on LinkedIn is almost pointless as people are there to connect, find resources and also get answers to questions.

    Great to see you pop in over here. Appreciate that.

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