By Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz
Your profiles on the social media networks are your Online Reputation. Considering that 72% of online adults us social networks (Pew Research), if a potential customer is going to search for what you offer, they’re going to do it online. Google considers LinkedIn one of the top referral sites for information on professional people. If someone Googles your name, more than likely your LinkedIn profile link will come up in the first few of the Google search engine results page (SERP). That’s where you want to be.
What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? Here are a few LinkedIn Reputation Killers that you need to address ASAP!
- No picture. There is no reason why you should not have a picture of yourself — not a caricature or a cartoon character. You are networking. People remember faces before they remember names or even occupations. I’ve walked into live networking events where I don’t know a soul and someone will walk up to me and say, “I’ve seen you on LinkedIn!” I reply, “That means what I do works!” They saw my picture next to posts in one of the local area groups. (More on this later)
- Incomplete name and location. You must put your full name and your location. That way people can find you easier. Even if you have a “global” business, put your actual location. Also, it must be your name not your company’s name. People connect with people. People follow companies. Companies have Company Profiles which are separate from personal profiles. Your personal profile “owns” your company one. (This is also true for Facebook and Google+).
- Incomplete heading. Your heading tells someone what you do in a glance. You must put your title and your company. Don’t just put “owner” or “entrepreneur”. Put your company’s name and/or website URL.
- Less than 50 connections. 50 is the magic number on LinkedIn along with a complete profile to be an “all-star”. Connect first with your friends, co-workers, former colleagues, former class mates, then connect with people you’ve met at networking events. After the event, sit with the cards you collected and invite everyone connect with you on LinkedIn. Remind them where you met: “John, it was nice meeting you at the networking event last night…”
- No vanity URL. If your LinkedIn address has a bunch of numbers at the end of it, you need to create your vanity URL. (How-to steps are in the SlideShare presentation below.) This makes it easier for you to put your LinkedIn profile address on your business card. If you have a common name, you’ll need to add your middle name or initial. LinkedIn will let you know if your name is available.
- No summary. Here is where you promote your business – not your resume! You have a business, you’re not looking for work. Here’s where you add relevant keywords describing what you do and what you offer. Use bullet points not long, wordy paragraphs. Don’t use “flowery language” either. Get to the point. You’ve got plenty of space here. Use it.
- Only one job experience. For a profile to be complete, LinkedIn requires at least 2 jobs. Add even a college job in there. Make sure that your current position is where you are working now. Even if you do more than one thing.
- No recommendations. Recommendations are important as they carry more weight than “endorsements”. Anyone can click on the “endorse” button — even if they know you or not. Recommendations have be to personally written by someone who knows you or your work.
- No skills. These are your keywords. You can put up to 50 skills. Use them.
- No company profile. As mentioned in #2, companies have company profiles. You must have an email address at the company URL to set up a company page. See the presentation below for information on the company page insights.
- Not participating in groups. There’s a group for every interest and industry out there. Search for those where your target market hangs out, post and participate in discussions regularly.
An incomplete profile on any of the networks is like having a sloppy lobby.
Visitors to your pages should know immediately what you do and what you offer and branding must be consistent throughout the networks. These are free billboards for your business with free links that Google accepts as relevant and authentic.