Are you a marketing professional who takes advantage of social media to build your personal brand and build valuable connections?
As digital marketing headhunters, we often see even the most seasoned professionals make mistakes on social media that are easily avoidable.
Sure, social media is a place to showcase your awesome personality and get creative. But for marketing professionals, one small mistake can be detrimental – especially if you’re actively looking for a job. This is particularly true when using certain platforms geared strictly toward professional networking like LinkedIn.
Digital recruiters understand the complexities that come with using social media for professionals. With an endless amount of tools and platforms available, it can become overwhelming and easy to misuse. However, when leveraged correctly, they can be invaluable in many ways.
While there isn’t exactly a formal guide out there on how to “properly” use certain social media platforms like LinkedIn, there are a few common (and unspoken) best practices and rules to abide by.
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Digital Marketing Headhunters’ Top LinkedIn Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)
LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site available today, and with reason. It has 500 million users and more than 10 million active job posts to date and is the ultimate channel for professionals in any industry to build out their networks on.
However, LinkedIn can be a tricky platform to navigate. You make one minor blunder, and you can taint your entire professional credibility – making you look unprofessional and unfit for a job.
Whether you’re actively looking for a new job or not, digital marketing headhunters want to make sure you avoid making these common mistakes to maximize your presence on LinkedIn.
1. Not Establishing Clear-Cut Goals
Digital marketing headhunters hate seeing marketers that neglect to establish goals for themselves in regards to LinkedIn.
Setting target goals will help you in maximizing your efforts and making your time spent on this platform worth it. Your ultimate goals should include making connections with brilliant people in your industry and staying abreast of trends. However, this requires an investment in time and effort so don’t expect to see instant results. Instead, consider LinkedIn as a long-term strategy to enhance your professional brand.
One of your top goals should also include demonstrating the value you can provide for companies. Truthfully, employers and recruiters are more interested in what you can do for them than your personal life. Position your skills and experience to demonstrate your true value for businesses and show that you can help them solve challenging business issues.
2. Failing to Align Your Profile with Your Expertise
When digital marketing headhunters look through your profile, they should get a good understanding what you do, what you’ve done, and what you can do for an organization. Essentially, your LinkedIn should accurately reflect your career path and expertise.
LinkedIn is an important data point for digital recruiters and employers to use when evaluating your candidacy for a position. And if you have minor mistakes such as incorrect grammar and misspellings spread throughout your profile, these are all red flags. Typos in your job title, company name, or any other part of your profile speak volumes and make you look careless or even worse – lacking proper grammar skills, which is extremely alarming for those pursuing an executive position.
If you want to impress anyone who lands on your profile, you have to instantly catch their attention and make it worth their stay. Make your headline and summary concise and compelling to ensure you hold their attention.
Think of every post as a marketing effort – you’re essentially selling yourself. Posting content that is relevant to your professional brand and maintaining your profile properly supports the proficient marketing skills and knowledge you claim to have.
3. Your Presence Is Too Personal
LinkedIn isn’t a platform to show off the new car you just purchased or the video you caught of your dog performing a new trick. Your entire profile and every post should be work-centric and professional.
Simply put, don’t use it as a personal diary or to spill out your private opinions on things that will rub digital recruiters the wrong way.
Monitor the tone and language you use when posting your own content and when engaging with others’. Keep your personal comments and complaints to yourself, especially when trying to contribute your professional input on a certain topic. Err on the side of caution – if something seems like it could potentially come off the wrong way, don’t risk it.
LinkedIn is not a place for you to air out complaints against a client or bash someone for having a difference in opinion from yours. Recruiters will see such people as attracting drama in the workplace, and won’t hesitate to drop you from their list of potential candidates.
4. Failing to Update Your LinkedIn
As digital recruiters, we often see that many marketing professionals abandon their accounts when they’re not actively looking for a job. However, it’s much easier to find a new position if you are consistently on it and actively updating it.
Continuously update your profile and post and share content to keep yourself above the radar and highly relevant. However, be cautious to not post too much as posting too frequently could potentially backfire.
Avoid spammy and self-serving content. Remember, quality trumps quantity and marketing recruitment firms will be more impressed with your efforts in driving other businesses’ marketing efforts, than your personal objectives.
Ensure that your profile headshot is an accurate and professional depiction of you. Steer clear of any family vacation photos and selfies that are over ten years old. A profile with a clear and up-to-date headshot makes a significant difference as digital recruiters are more likely to click on a profile with a picture than one without. In fact, your profile is likely to get 14 times more views with a picture. Investing in a professional headshot will prove to be worth it in the long run.
Your LinkedIn profile needs constant TLC. Don’t wait until you start looking for a job to improve or update it. Constantly optimizing it maximizes the chances of opportunities coming to you, so you don’t have to wait around when the time comes for you to seek a new position.
5. Ignoring Your Network
Once you’ve invested sufficient time in building your network and connections, make sure it doesn’t go to waste by actively communicating and engaging with your network.
Stay active by joining relevant groups and engaging with users with similar interests. Engaging with other professionals in your industry will enhance your credibility and help keep you updated on new trends and developments. This is particularly important in the marketing space as it is constantly evolving and transforming.
This is another case where quality overtakes quantity. Instead of inviting everyone you come across, make meaningful connections with people in your industry to take your credibility to a new level. You will slowly start to see that connecting with people solely to increase the number of connections won’t be of any value.
Also, remember to not serve sales pitches after connecting with people. Taking time to build genuine relationships is especially important when pushing sales and asking for favors.
6. Not Including Keywords
One of the biggest mistakes marketing professionals make on LinkedIn is not including keywords in their profiles. Remember, LinkedIn is a search engine so make sure your professional summary, headline, and job descriptions are all keyword-focused. Your profile needs to demonstrate key marketing communication skills and your expertise through detailed descriptions and relevant keywords.
For instance, if you specialize in marketing automation, include keywords like “conversion rate” and “lead generation”, etc. Keywords will help digital recruiters find your profile and essentially boost your chances of finding new opportunities.
By clearly articulating what you’ve accomplished and what you can do as a marketer, keywords will only increase the chances of digital recruiters and employers finding you and potentially presenting you with a great new position.
7. Failing to Ask for Help
Digital recruiters realize you may accidentally overlook minor mistakes on your profile. However, it’s important you put your best foot forward on LinkedIn. This means reaching out to others to take a second look at your profile. This could be a colleague or peer in your industry – don’t hesitate to ask someone for help.
If you’re working with a recruiter, ask for feedback and prepare yourself for constructive criticism. This will ensure your profile is in tip-top shape and ready to go!
LinkedIn is the perfect place to build your personal brand and reputation, along with establishing key connections in a world where it’s easy to get lost. Always stay professional, but take advantage of it to show your personality as well – as long as it’s not too personal, you will leave a lasting impression on digital marketing headhunters and recruiters that land on your profile.
LinkedIn should be a place for you to tell your professional story and showcase your expertise in the best way possible. By avoiding these risky mistakes, you successfully increase your chances of building a great repertoire on LinkedIn and ultimately taking your career to new heights like never before.
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This article originally appeared in MarketPro.