by Euney Kim
on December 4, 2015

Common LinkedIn Social Selling Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Knowing the exact protocol for every little setting, option, and choice on social media platforms can be tricky. Lines become blurred after reading “change this,” “hide that,” and “choose this” time and time again.

Our team gathered ‘round to list what we know to be the most common mistakes on LinkedIn a user can make professionally. Better yet, we also have the answers on how to avoid them. Take our word for it, social is our thing. Enjoy!

1. Sharing every move you make.
By default, your setting is configured to share every update you make on your profile. Your connections like you, so don’t jeopardize that by cluttering their feed with updates every single time you change that descriptive adjective in your summary.

How to Avoid: On LinkedIn, hover over your mini profile icon in the top right corner. Click “Manage” next to “Privacy and Settings.” From the list, select “Choose whether or not to share your profile edits” and make sure this is unchecked. Voila.

Insider Tip: Turn this on for a few days if you plan on announcing a new job, promotion or location change! These are things you want to share and show-off. Don’t forget to change it back to off though.

2. Sending impersonal connection requests.
No one likes the feeling of receiving a generic invitation, for anything. It may be a subconscious dislike, but once a person knows customization is possible, they look for it. Be the future connection that goes the extra mile and personalizes the request!

How to Avoid: When connecting with a user, take a few minutes to write a note in the message box. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. A short and sweet personalized connection invitation goes a long way. Click here for a template you can use as a starting point, courtesy of Hubspot.

3. Accepting everyone & anyone as a connection.
Networking is done at conferences, meetings, and even online. However, it is extremely important to network with caution while on LinkedIn. Accepting a random connection request in the moment may seem like no big deal, until your connection list boldly states “500+” and you know 300. And the same goes for sending requests to connect. Be thoughtful in who you connect with.

How to Avoid: Don’t accept blindly. But don’t deny quickly either. Send a message politely asking the person how you know them. There is no harm in being exclusive with your connections. After all, it’s your information and your network. And if you have common connections and you know you might cross paths, don’t feel obligated to deny. Use your better judgement. As they say, “Go with your gut.”

4. Pasting your resume.
Sure, LinkedIn resembles what you put on a resume; experience, education, etc. But this is also a social network profile with plenty of space for valuable content; content that your prospects and clients are bound to come across.

How to Avoid: Put some thought into the kind of content you put on your profile. Do not use bullet points. Use small paragraphs in each section with complete sentences. Your LinkedIn should be professional, but personal, with a clean and consistent format. Tell people of the value you bring professionally and solutions you can provide to your prospects’ problems. But also mention your obsession for college basketball or your affinity for travel. Human connection goes a long way.

5. Never sharing content or engaging.
Salespeople are busy and it’s easy to forget to maintain an active presence on LinkedIn. Don’t let your profile collect dust. You want to remain active on LinkedIn and showcase your credibility beyond your profile. Without doing so, you won’t stay top of mind or be viewed as an expert.

How to Avoid: Set up Google Alerts on relevant topics to your industry. You’ll get alerted when an article or blog post is published and it’ll arrive right in your email inbox. Set a weekly reminder to share at least one article to your network. Also make a point to share your insights to any post shared by your connections.

Insider Tip: Set up Google Alerts on a prospect’s company or topics relevant to that company. When something interesting comes up, share it with your prospect directly with a personal note.

What other social selling mistakes have you seen? Do you have any questions regarding best social selling practices? Share with us by tweeting @PeopleLinx. We’d love to hear from you!

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