“People use LinkedIn to connect with coworkers and industry peers, get business advice, and even find new jobs,” writes Diana Freedman at HubSpot. “It’s a great place for businesses to make relevant LinkedIn users aware of their brand.” But, she cautions, those positive outcomes won’t happen if you make mistakes like these:
Failing to answer questions. When you respond to business-related questions at LinkedIn’s “Answer” section, you establish yourself as an expert—and it might even generate new customers. “Take a few minutes each day to look at the new questions in your industry,” she suggests, “and see if there’s one you can provide a helpful answer to.” Be careful, though, to reply without blatant promotion of your product or service. “If you were in a bind and reached out to a community of peers for help,” she explains, “would you want the only response to be ‘Give me your money’?”
Failing to complete your personal profile. If you want to build trust, you have to let others know who you are. “Describe your role at your current and previous companies,” she advises, “and provide links to your website and any relevant profiles,” such as Twitter.
Failing to post status updates. Don’t worry about the apparent redundancy of posting updates at LinkedIn when you’re already active on Twitter and Facebook. There’s a good chance your LinkedIn network has business connections who wouldn’t see your updates in other venues. “It’s ok to re-purpose content across all of the social channels, as long as you’re not duplicating the content,” she notes.
Active, transparent participation at LinkedIn will deliver the best networking results.