5 Ways To Kill Your LinkedIn Account and Destroy Your Reputation
LinkedIn is one of the best business to business sites on the Internet. It's filled with professionals from almost every industry. Because of this, it's a marketer's dream. There's a lot Internet gurus on the net that write about how to take advantage of the social networking site, but a few things always seem to go overlooked. Breaking the TOS on LinkedIn is one of the easiest ways to get yourself banned and ruin any marketing potential you have there.
So, if you want to cultivate some of the best leads ever for your company, don't:
1. Use a Fake Name - Fake names are a big no-no on LinekdIn. It seems like an obvious rule, but some people use nicknames to keep their anonymity and some small business owners use the company name while building a personal profile page. If LinkedIn catches you using anything but your real name, you could lose your account forever.
2. Spam Groups Discussions - It's unfortunate, but some marketers take advantage of group discussions. Each group has its rules and some groups allow more shenanigans than others. If a group you joined doesn't allow job listings in the discussions area, don't post job openings there. Likewise, if no off-topic discussions are allowed, don't start a conversation that's off-topic. Some groups don't allow overt promotional material. Takeaway: read the rules before you post.
3. Connect With People You Don't Know - It's popular on LinkedIn to be an "open networker." This kind of thing is actually frowned upon though. If you're blasting out emails to people you don't know, expect a ban. LinkedIn wants people to connect with each other in legitimate ways. This means that you should have met the person you're connecting with, or you should somehow know the person you're connecting with due to a third-party introduction.
4. Go Crazy With Page Views - LinkedIn actually gets suspicious if you have too many page views. In other words, if you're surfing around the site, looking at too many photos, the company gets suspicious. It thinks you might be "phishing" or downloading personal information. While you might just be bored or genuinely interested in looking at other peoples' profiles, don't overdo it. There's no official limit to the number of profiles you can view, but if it feels like you're visiting too many pages on the site in one session, you probably are.
5. Put Up Unprofessional Images - LinkedIn is a social network, but it's not Facebook or Myspace. There's a certain level of professionalism that the site wants to hold its users to. Plus, people on LinkedIn are generally professional people. Putting up a photo of you in a bikini might turn some peoples' heads, but it might also earn you a ban from the spam team. If your account gets suspended for an inappropriate photo, you'll have to jump through a few hoops to get your account restored. You'll probably get a slap on the wrist and sent on your way but the process will be annoying.