LinkedIn can be an extremely useful tool for networking, marketing and building your company/personal brand. It can, however, also prove to be a very reliable way to discredit yourself and/or company and annoy other users.
There are a certain number actions which you should avoid if you want your profile to remain credible and your brand optimised:
Listing every skill under the sun is a good way of reducing the impact and credibility of the true skills that you do have. For example, listing ‘Social Media’ is like listing ‘socialising’ on your CV, it doesn’t mean anything, are you skilled at ‘Social Media Marketing’, ‘Social Media Advertising’ or ‘Social Media Network Development’? The more skills you add, the less credible your true qualities become as they will simply be lost among the irrelevant cloud of skills listed on your profile.
Pointless contact collecting
There are those that believe that the more contacts you have on LinkedIn, the better. LinkedIn should not be a popularity contest and obtaining hundreds of contacts that are of no use to you, and will never be contacted, is pointless and simply makes future connections think twice before accepting your invite to connect with them.
Sharing information is one of the real benefits of LinkedIn and other networks. Sharing 10’s of stories in one go, multiple times per day, will aggravate those connected to you. As well as clogging up their feed the chances of them actually reading your updates are reduced significantly, conversely, the chances of them ‘hiding’ your updates or removing you as a connection will increase. Similarly, don’t spam all of the groups you belong to with updates, it won’t get you anywhere. Share interesting and relevant information, but keep the frequency sensible.
Using a photo of you down the pub with your mates or in a swimming pool on holiday is not the best impression to give on a professional network.
You’re not a ‘Jedi’
Neither are you a ‘Wizard’, ‘Hero’ or ‘Ninja’. Use your official title (if it’s one of the aforementioned then it might be time to have a chat about job titles with your boss).
Jedi’s and Wizards are fictional, do not compare yourself to fictional characters. Ninja’s are real but probably not on LinkedIn.
<< N.B. These are Jedi’s
Endorse to be endorsed
Endorsing people is already considered something that is akin to a Facebook ‘Like’ as some use it as a tool for their own ends. Endorsing a contact for the sole reason that you expect an endorsement back is not a true endorsement, it’s a bribe. If you really want to give praise then write that contact a constructive and thoughtful recommendation. Do not endorse someone simply because they endorsed you, if you have no personal experience of a contacts skill, then how can you endorse them, if you have experienced that particular skill, then you’ve probably endorsed them already?!
Don’t link your Twitter feed to LinkedIn. If people want to follow you on Twitter they will, if they don’t then don’t force them to read your mini updates.
Try to be a comedian
LinkedIn is not the place for witty and condescending comments or updates. You won’t win any fans by trying to be clever at the expense of others, you’ll be removed from their contact list. Giving this impression will not do you any favours in your professional goals either.