LinkedIn is well known as the leading social networking site for professionals. But a lot of people set up an account—mostly just because they’ve heard they should have a presence there—and basically stop at that. They don’t take much time to get acquainted with the site or learn about all you can do with it. And thus, there are plenty of misconceptions and common myths about LinkedIn that persist due to lack of familiarity.
So, let’s take a look at some of the most common myths about LinkedIn and set the record straight. Don’t let any of these mistaken beliefs prevent you from taking full advantage of the site.
Misconceptions About LinkedIn
- LinkedIn is only useful if you’re looking for a new job. While this social site is an excellent place for networking with potential employers and finding new opportunities, that’s hardly the extent of its usefulness. LinkedIn is a great place to generally market yourself and your products or services, build your personal brand, keep in touch with your connections, find valuable information about your industry from experts and influencers, cultivate new leads for your business, and more.
- You can only send connection requests to people you know well. While you shouldn’t spam other users with connection requests, don’t feel limited to people you personally know. If you believe a connection will be mutually beneficial, go for it. For the best results, send a quick personalized note about who you are and why you want to connect. It’s also more likely that your request will be accepted if you have some mutual connections.
- You should only accept connection requests from people you know well. All users decide for themselves how open they are to accepting requests from people they don’t know. Yes, you’ll get requests from people just trying to build their number of connections and looking to spam as many people as possible with sales offers. But take a minute to look at the profiles of people who send you connection requests. If they look like legitimate people in your industry or a related one, or if it looks like there’s potential for a mutually beneficial relationship, go ahead and make a new connection.
- You should only post content about your company or industry. First, you don’t ever want to post more self-promotional content than generally valuable content. Second, feel free to post anything that’s relevant to your brand and your audience. If you believe a piece of content offers something of interest to the bulk of your network, share it.
- Everyone sees it when you update your profile information. Lots of people get somewhat self-conscious and hesitant about making changes to their profile because they think all their connections will get a notification and/or see it on their home page feed. There’s a section for controlling “How others see your LinkedIn activity” under your account settings. Also, when you open the editing box for certain parts of your profile, like adding new experience, you’re presented with the option of whether to share the change you’re making.
- You get access to new features when you have more than 500 connections. This just isn’t true; there are no secret features that are unlocked when you cross this threshold. LinkedIn simply stops updating the connection count once it surpasses 500, sticking to “500+.” While having a large network can be great, it’s much more important to have quality connections who are engaged and positioned to have mutually beneficial relationships with you.