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The 5 Ways You Stink At LinkedIn

Ah LinkedIn. The Granpappy of “Social Media”.

So much potential, yet so much stink. The fans and fanatics shout about how great it is since it’s only for “business people” and you don’t get all the junk that is on the other social sites. The problem is LinkedIn isn’t even a social media site. It’s a digital Rolodex pretending to be social. As a way to connect with the very people you hated at your last job it’s perfect. I’m actually one of their original members and have more contacts than an octopus with 10,000 biz cards (only to make up for my lack of popularity in high-school) but I go there less and less now.

I actually do see the potential of it, especially for job-seekers and employers looking to hire. If I was still in HR (which I left when I realized I hated people) it would be the perfect recruitment research tool.

The problem is once they tried to make it social, the “business” people started farking it up.

 

Here are the Top 5 Ways You Stink At LinkedIn:

1. Warm Spam – Just because I accept you as a contact, does not mean I want you to pitch me your product/service. Although I wrote a post about it, take a gander at what happened today. Some financial planner thought it was wise to pitch me his services right after accepting him as a contact. When I enlightened him in my reply on why spam is a bad thing, this was his reply:

“”I’m sorry that you felt so negative about that email. I try to send that correspondence out to a select group of people that I think have the financial sense and means to be interested in this strategy Scott. Obviously I was wrong in your case and apologize for brothering you with this suggestion. Linkedin is a way to network and connect with other business people Scott so if I can help enhance a high income earners retirement, that’s what I try to do as a Financial Advisor. Most high income earners are always looking for a way not to pay taxes Scott and this is a strategy to do so and this is why the rich get richer.”

I assume the book he read about selling said:

1. Every no is a yes in disguise!
2. Use the person’s first name multiple times. It makes them trust you!
3. Social media is really social selling!

Outside of his lack of a comma anywhere, spelling and the perception that my name was just auto-filled into a form email, what he doesn’t realize is that in his industry above most, I have to know and trust you to an incredible level before we’d even start this discussion.

Social is just that, getting to know each other. Not social spamming.

2. Blank Requests – “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”. Do you feel that? That’s the feeling of a relationship! Nothing says “I know you!” like a generic request for a connection! Let the good times roll! If you want someone to be your connection, put 5 seconds of effort into it and let that person know how you know them or why you want to connect. I know some of the apps don’t allow for it and fire off this request anyways, but spend a little time and care and those requests will get accepted much quicker.

3. Twitter + LinkedIn = Litter – Go login now to LI and tell me what you see from people and their “status”. 98% of what I see are automated feeds from Twitter. Broken @ names, and “via Twitter” all over the place. Is that the message you want to send to your business contacts? That you’re not there but you’re giving them the honor of reading your tweets? Social media isn’t about being everywhere, it’s about being great at where you are. Stop the social synching.

4. Drive-by Group Articles – The saving grace of LinkedIn is the group functionality. The ability to share discussions with industry peers or ones of like minds is incredible. Sadly, running one of these groups is a daily battle at removing drive-by spam disguised as “articles”. You know the ones, where the person posts “Thought this would be interesting!” or “Hope this generates discussion!” and they post the article in 10 groups, where it’s a bunch of regurgitated drivel designed for you to check out their blog or read their profile. Want to start a discussion? Post a question and want answers, not your own. No one asked you. I know the frustration, I tried building an UnMarketing group there for a long time, it just wasn’t worth it. If you run a great group on LI, post it in the comments, since they’re rare to find.

5. Endorsing Strangers – The endorsement option is the best part of the entire place to me. You can give endorsements for a job well done and it feels pretty awesome to receive them. We’re farking them up when you blast request this to your list. I get at least two a week from someone I’ve never done business with to endorse them. Seriously. Stop it. Want to do them right? Pick a contact a week and give them an endorsement. A real one. Not a “Hey I’m giving you one, sooooooo where’s mine?” Give them unconditionally, and if you’re good at what you do, you may just get a few yourself.

 

Have you found success on LinkedIn? Something grind your gears? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Lisa at Meticulous Inspections

    Number 4 is the worst offence – endorsing someone you’ve never done business or had contact with? That’s just unethical. To make it more meaningful, maybe they could make a feature where after you enter that you used their services, THEN you can endorse the person.

    • Julie Barker

      So agree, am getting heaps

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  • I seems to me that LinkedIn is what you put into it. I do agree that over socialization can grossly devalue it’s principle intention. For example, I found this blog as I was googling for info or discussions on the recent wave of survey requests I’m getting in my LI mail or other link laden messages. It’s something that is all to common in social sites. I was trying to confirm this was a scam, phish mail or recon for a man in the middle cyber attack.

    That being said, LI is more than a job search/filling site and certainly not a consumer lead page (as all but stated by the reasoning offered by the person in the above story). It is a business networking site. The idea is that one may find ways to enhance venture efforts, skill sets by connecting with others in the same area, not to mention that by connecting and interacting with those in our given market we increases our presence within it.

    Success in networking efforts, require more than a resume and spiffy cover letter. There is a social aspect needed to network with and build solid contacts. If it weren’t so, a lot of bars and golf courses would be out of business.

    The current corundum for me at this point is how do I remain active in LI in a way that encourages a needed social environment that attracts solid and sincere business contacts yet not so much that it invites salesmen and social engineers as seems to be happening more an more unfortunately.

    • Social Media Sites are comparable to Cell Phone Providers. Each offers something slightly different but the concept is simple. Human Beings have a need to connect & companies will always find ways to exploit that need.

      “Over Socialization” like Joey Ortega stated above is the same concept as having “unlimited text messages” on your phone plan.

      The real value in Social Networking is connecting with real people in the real world. Once you established a relationship then you have various ways to maintain, grow & develop your “social network”.

      There is the “old-fashioned” hand-written letter, phone calls, text messages, & now social media websites. However, bars, clubs, restaurants, businesses, schools, & of course my all time favorite “coffee shops” are still the foundation of growing a social network.

  • Social Media Sites are comparable to Cell Phone Providers. Each offers something slightly different but the concept is simple. Human Beings have a need to connect & companies will always find ways to exploit that need.

    “Over Socialization” like Joey Ortega stated below is the same concept as having “unlimited text messages” on your phone plan.

    The real value in Social Networking is connecting with real people in the real world. Once you established a relationship then you have various ways to maintain, grow & develop your “social network”.

    There is the “old-fashioned” hand-written letter, phone calls, text messages, & now social media websites. However, bars, clubs, restaurants, businesses, schools, & of course my all time favorite “coffee shops” are all still the foundation of growing a social network.

  • The thing that burns my buns the most if why would you want to link with your current boss that’s about to lay you off. Not only can he see all your activity, but the activity you do while you supposed to be working. I had to redo my profile cause I got tired of getting linked in mail with someone who I worked with or barely new. And the groups are killing me with the fly by night emails. I think it’s (LINKEDIN) a good idea but something just not right with the site. I still use it but when I sharexy my blog I don’t include it. mainly use it as a resume page.

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  • Jason Petefish

    I want to like LI and I want to use it, but it keeps giving me reasons to not. It feels like going into a meeting room with a bunch of stand-up cardboard printouts of people. A person may want to “interact” with them, but they’re not really there. I guess I just don’t “get it” really, and don’t have time to take the 5-day “seminar” on how to benefit from it.

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  • Julie Barker

    Great article – here an happy to say, not guilty of any of them, I find it great as a virtual rolodex – as add people when I meet them and always send a message, where we met etc, it is where my target market hang out. Just need to create more discussions, – as I post my blogs, and share articles, and only occasionally start discussion. Thanks again

  • Scott haha Scott pretty sweet article Scott, thank you Scott! 😉

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  • Faye Pietrokowsky

    thank you. Obvious but obviously, not really. These make sense and are do
    able!