Protecting your LinkedIn brand reputation

Protecting and amplifying your LinkedIn brand reputation is essential.  Whether using the platform for  career expansion, leadership development, corporate networking, business sales generation, perception and reputation goes hand in hand.

With over 11.2 Million Australian and 756 Million global members, the platform is noisy and competitive.  And with the urgency and quest to  take a chunk of the LinkedIn pie of opportunity many can be swayed towards  short cuts and well, let’s say unethical and  dubious practices.

Signposts of reputation concern

There are signposts of dubious practices which cast doubt on a members  ethics, some of which are clear and others opaque.  People can be  hoodwinked into believing they are acceptable and ‘everyone does it”  hence buying into the marketing spin.

These practices  not only cause personal brand damage long or short term, they decrease the overall value and market integrity of the platform.  And more so, they build an internal demise of true ability and value.

I call these practices  the  ‘underbelly of LinkedIn” as the processes and methods used to build connections and influence are fraudulent and nefarious at worst, foolish and a waste of time and money at best. At either end, personal brands and integrity are put at risk.

The delusion of influencers

Social media is awash with fake influencers, fraud and narcissism.  Humans are humans and LinkedIn like any other platform also draws a mix of ethical, unethical, naïve and educated. I encourage full awareness of the good, bad, ugly and brilliant of the platform. And more so a focus on critical thinking and due checking and diligence.

But when it comes to putting dollars in the bank, raising visibility and professional influence, there are  no short cuts to building real value and trust.  LinkedIn  members who try and swoop up quick wins to give the impression of  ‘smashing it’  and huge market gravitas are either ignorant, arrogant or without a commercial moral compass. And that raises and places question over capabilities upfront.

The key to protecting your brand and mitigate risk is to apply critical thinking and ditch laziness (for yourself and in assessing others). Be mindful that not all who appears successful and genuine is and that metrics don’t always equate to value. It can be a total delusion.

There are four practices you should avoid at all costs to protect your brand reputation on LinkedIn. And be aware of others doing so.

 

Engagement Pods

Engagement pods are the worst kept secret, and still few will admit their involvement.  But it’s clear as cellophane when people are engaging in pods  And whilst there was a lessening of them during 2020,, I can assure you they are reaping back in.  Desperation is an awful motivator and despite LinkedIn’s crackdown that scramble has resurfaced.

An engagement pod in its true form is set up to game the algorithm. Pods put dissimilar businesses together (circa 10 to 1000 nationally or globally) to enforce engagement on each other’s post to boost visibility. Pods can ask for payment to join and monthly fees or can be free. Paid pods and MLM schemes are far more common than thought. Whether paid or unpaid, penalties for non-compliance or leaving can be severe.  And that can be simply fake bot pods also.

Paid Fake Engagement

Again the use of paid engagement (likes, followers, comments, recommendations) have not abated over the last 12 months and still in full swing.  Posts with 100s of engagement – likes or comments but from a 3rd world country and fake profiles mostly (just one signpost of fake engagement).

The paid click farm industry has grown due to demand by the lazy and unethical. Sellers are global and in Australia. Never be tempted to buy anything. And review profiles and content that has unusual high engagement and connections to check if they may have been bought. A big percentage of USA/Africa dodgy profiles generally indicate paid click farms.

Everything is for sale so ensure you are connecting with ethical people to build strong brand association.

Outsourcing profile management

Your personal profile is yours. Do not outsource outside of your company. A lack of attention, poor grammar, inability to engage with industry gravitas compromises business. Also, many outsourced services combine automation, click farms and engagement pod activities as a ‘done for you’ service.

Outsourcing is very  dangerous stuff as your brand and profile can be compromised. And never hand over your connection and invitation requests (especially off-shore)

Read Here is more information.

Automation

Do not use plugin automation tools to build your network.  LinkedIn prohibit use  and you risk being suspended or locked out.  And members  loathe receiving standard automated invitations. Do not believe the BS that having huge networks always equate to success. It’s Quality vs Quantity.

Whilst LinkedIn have now officially stated sending more than 100 connection requests per week can be viewed as automation or spam, it appears their member reviews, enforcement and penalisation is haphazard. But it is still a risk and 100 is very small in consideration that most automation programs shoot out 50 a day.

Summing Up

Whilst the allure and temptation of appearing as a ‘ostensible’ influencer and successful mover and shaker can be seductive with  easy solutions, all that glitters isn’t always gold.   People lurk and note and the patterns of echo chambers and non sensical, dubious and irrelevant  engagement and actions will minimise trust.

Your brand reputation and long term trust on the platform matters no matter what purpose or objectives you have. Be brave, be bold, be unique!  Brand reputation does matter!

CLICK HERE for all LinkedIn Services, Profiles  & Training

 

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