Most professionals use the social networking site in some capacity--but one expert says they're making a lot of mistakes.
Today, LinkedIn is the No. 1 social media platform for professionals. Estimates of professional participation in LinkedIn are as high as 83%.
But when I talked to one of my friends--social media expert Alexandra Gibson from OttoPilot Media--she told me that she sees too many professionals making a lot of mistakes. Here are the seven she sees most often.
1. You only use it if you need a job. I can usually tell when my friends are on the job prowl because all of a sudden, a barely existent LinkedIn profile is revived. The truth is that you'll be much better served by keeping your profile and connections current, rather than just reaching out to people when you need something.
2. You have an incomplete profile. A bare-bones profile does not do you (or your company) any favors. Add all important companies and a description of the results you achieved in the past. Don't forget to optimize your profile for search--creating a keyword rich profile will help people find you and your company.
3. You don't belong to the right groups. There are more groups out there than there are seconds in a day, so it can be difficult to decide which are most important. If you join no other groups, join your alumni groups (college, prep school, grad school, fraternity or sorority). Industry groups--both for your own company and your major customer market segments--are a clear next step.
4. You're not sharing valuable content. When you publish a great blog post or your company creates a valuable white paper, share it on your LinkedIn feed. Also, share content in your feed from other sources besides your own. Post in your groups to judiciously share articles and links if you feel that it would be of interest to that audience. This will help show you as a thought leader--and, if the content is on your site, can generate quality leads directly from LinkedIn.