Content is King and if you want your brand to stay a step ahead of the rest, then it’s important to avoid these common pitfalls.
As Marketers and Social Media Professionals, we’ve been conditioned to think constantly, and for good reason, that Content is King. The world of Social Media moves at a rapid pace and I’m always on the lookout for the next cool brand, idea or Social Media platform.
The pace at which technology moves ensures that we always strive to be ahead of the curve, testing out the latest technological developments, looking at the most edgy Social Media campaigns or following news makers and thought leaders on various platforms. Any consulting advice to clients always has a background of not just what we know, but also of what we’ve read, experienced or dealt with at some time during our careers.
Not all Social Media platforms are created equal. LinkedIn, for a long time, has been the sacred cow of the world of Social Media. As the Professional Social Media Network, it has always been seen a notch above the rest when it comes to facilitating meaningful professional dialog and presenting valuable content for business professionals.
However, a disturbing trend has emerged over the past few months to a year, where the line between the so-called professional network and other networks has become more and more blurred with every minute. Content is King and if you want your personal brand or your company’s brand to stay a step ahead of the rest, then it’s of paramount importance to avoid these common pitfalls.
Nobody minds the odd joke or the odd post to have a quick laugh. However, if you are posting or interacting with any of the following types of content on LinkedIn, you may already be damaging your personal and company’s brand without even knowing it.
1. Math Problems: LinkedIn is not a platform to show your math skills or show how you can apply PEMDAS to solve a mathematical equation. I don’t know how many recruiters will look at your answer and go, “Wow, he got the correct answer to that equation, let’s hire him as our Editor.”
2. What you’re eating: LinkedIn is definitely not a platform to post a picture of your friend’s birthday bash at a restaurant nearby. It’s different if you’re posting a picture with your team while you met up at a convention or a corporate event, with your team in attendance. Corporations are increasingly trying to wrap their heads around how to regulate and monitor the content created by their employees in the current workplace. Social Media is a hot potato for a lot of organizations, however, maintaining a bit of professional sagacity goes a long way in showing potential employers and executives alike what your LinkedIn brand really is.
3. Word Guess: Have you ever logged into LinkedIn to respond to an InMail from a recruiter only to see a Word Grid staring at you on the main page? These posts usually go this way: “Look at this grid and type the first word you see”. Again, at the cost of being repetitive, this will only do more damage than good. Your supervisor or boss isn’t going to look at this and say, “Wow, he got that word that nobody else got, let’s promote him”.
4. Political Posts: While people are increasingly frustrated with the extreme tone that political discussions have taken off late, the ongoing Presidential Campaign has only worsened the scenario. Political quotes, policy discussions or arguments about extreme statements made by certain politicians are not meant to be on a platform like LinkedIn. Many of us have tuned out of a lot of the political discussions on Facebook just because we are bored of reading pedantic monologues and are deeply disheartened by the acerbic tone that political discussions often take. Recruiters, executives and businessmen are not worried about which political candidate you support, they’re more bothered about whether you have the right skills and the right temperament to solve problems for their business.
5. Spam posts and scam artists: I bet you’ve come across this one multiple times. These are often orchestrated campaigns created to drive traffic to profiles and gain traction. These are usually people posing as recruiters promising that there are multiple job openings and all you need to do is like the post and comment on their post with your cell phone number in order to receive a call back for an interview. This should be an absolute no-go zone for professionals and these scam artists should be reported. Unfortunately, I’ve seen these posts gain massive traction with LinkedIn professionals posting their personal phone numbers and even location details at times.
While we all get excited about what we can do on LinkedIn with Social Selling and meaningful interactions, it’s important to ensure that we not just grow but also protect our brand on LinkedIn. As the reach and volume of interactions grows on LinkedIn, there is bound to be more spam and clutter. Keeping some of the above points in mind will not only help you preserve and build your personal brand, but will also ensure that whatever time you spend on LinkedIn will be meaningful, productive and interactive.
Which pitfalls and common mistakes would you add to this list? I’m sure there are more that you might have encountered. Please leave a comment in case you have come across any. Also, I would greatly appreciate any feedback in the comments section.