B2B and consumer-based businesses alike have found massive benefits while using LinkedIn. The social network for business people is growing exponentially in recent years, and that’s something worth looking into.

Despite your possible activity on the social business site, there is some room for error no matter how successful you’ve been thus far. Much like Facebook and Twitter have faux pas and pratfalls, LinkedIn too can be misused. If you want to make the most of your time on LinkedIn, you should watch out for these mistakes that might be putting a damper on your results.

1: A Bad or Non-Existent Picture

As a rule of thumb, your first move on any social media account for business should be filling out your profile in its entirety. This includes your profile picture, and this is extremely important on LinkedIn. Because it’s a business peer social site, putting up your profile picture builds trust in your community and allows peers to put a name to a face. You’ll also be happy to know that profiles with pictures available are likely to receive 11 times the views as those without.

2: Acting Like your Profile is a Resume

While the point of LinkedIn is to connect with business professionals, this doesn’t mean that you should treat the site like an essay or resume. After all, it is a social media site. Leave the stiff formalities at home. You’re trying to connect with people on a personal level in a business environment, so be more personable.

Resumes are also all about selling yourself to someone else. They focus on the “I”s in life. I have done this, I will do that, etc. Meanwhile, your LinkedIn summaries and copy should focus more on customer interaction. Instead of talking about your phenomenal customer service rates, angle the same fact in a way that puts the customer first, like how many people you’ve helped and even customer testimonials.

3: Forgetting to use Keywords

Just because LinkedIn is social media it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to use keywords. In fact, keywords should be present in all of your social strategies. If you’re curious as to how important this is for LinkedIn, you’ll be pleased to know the answer is “very”. Using SEO keywords on LinkedIn has been proven to boost views at a considerable rate.

4 – Making your Invitations Super Generic

Remember that LinkedIn is all about networking with peers – it’s essentially an online business conference for anyone and everyone in the professional world. Think about your introductions and invitations that you would give offline, and enact this same attitude into your LinkedIn interactions. LinkedIn defaults all of their invitation copy to something super generic, so replace it with your own personal copy.

5: Trying to be too “Viral”

You’ve seen the headlines before: “Advice from a LinkedIn Guru on Networking Success” or “The 9 Ninja Networking Tips You Never Knew About!” This might fly on Buzzfeed, but it won’t on LinkedIn. Because you’re operating around business professionals, they’ll see through your clickbait attempts in a second.

When you post content on LinkedIn, you should probably worry about how valuable this content will be to your peers instead of how many clicks you can get. Your business peers will appreciate your insight more than your feeble attempt at a marketing ploy.

6: Misunderstanding the LinkedIn Blog Function

When you post a blog on your own business’ site, no one will blame you for some shameless self-promotion. After all, that’s what it’s there for. On LinkedIn, however, the blog feature is meant to be more valuable, as discussed above. The point isn’t to sell yourself to others – it’s to show them your keen observations and experienced insights on your field and other business topics.

Many professionals instead use this platform to plug promotions or casually link and to brag about their business endeavors. We strongly recommend to not go down this avenue, as it can make you look desperate and self-serving.

7: Not Working for Connections

Nicole Williams connected with Forbes recently to discuss LinkedIn mistakes many entrepreneurs make. Among them was lurking too much and not being active in engagement. Many professionals will create a LinkedIn profile, set it up to look nice and then wait for fish to bite – but sadly that’s not how this works.

Williams recommends joining groups based on personal experience, telling Forbes “I always recommend joining groups related to your field or even personal interests. It comes in handy!” This is just one method of engagement that works on LinkedIn, so feel free to play the field. One thing’s for sure: if you stand still, you’ll get left in the dust.

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