How do you or your team members behave on LinkedIn? Do you know what influence your activity has on other users and/or your professional goal?
Inspired by Jean-Luc Scherer, we have selected 11 types of LinkedIn user personas and added our own comments.
Knowledge miner: “…uses LinkedIn to learn, to share knowledge, to influence. Posts frequently and is highly engaged commenting other people’s content.”
Our comment: try LinkedIn Learning for interesting courses and videos. Some background info: it’s a website offering video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative and business skills. It’s a subsidiary of LinkedIn which was originally founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman as Lynda.com before being acquired by LinkedIn in 2015. And then Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in December 2016.
Facebook immigrant: “…posts content that is visual. Uses little text and is very excited about the video feature.”
Our comment: yes, graphics and videos bring attention to your posts. But only if they are relevant and well-designed. The type of content the Facebook immigrant posts is often irrelevant or too personal. Remember: LinkedIn is not Facebook – it is your professional business card.
Motivator: “…loves to share motivational quotes. Comments are usually limited to one-liners.”
Our comment: we also like calling that user persona “Cheerleader” as they often publicly cheer everyone and everything with one-liners like several other people before them – often using the text suggested by LinkedIn. Instead: reach out to that person in a private and personalized message. It is meaningful and makes them remember you.
Hyper connected networker: “…tries to network with as many people as possible with the ambition to generate leads.”
Our comment: just no. If you are not doing it right (personalized & private), you’ll be perceived as a “Spammer”. If you want to build your network, do it well or not at all. Connect with people you know or who might be valuable. Don’t send out hundreds of random invitations – personalize them. In this way you won’t be perceived as a spammer or a scam. It applies also to random recruiters!
Narcissistic self-promoter: “…posts frequently, but mainly pictures of themselves, gratifies themselves, or promotes their own business constantly.”
Our comment: LinkedIn is a personal branding tool, but personal branding ≠ narcissistic self-promoting. We know that you are proud of yourself and your successes (and you surely have a fair reason to be!) but focusing only on yourself might not be perceived well. Example: people quoting themselves with their own photo.
Guardian of virtue and truth: “…always there commenting posts to correct you or put you back in line. Will take a fight on topics and principles that they really care about. Does this with a good intent in mind.”
Our comment: although they have good intent in mind, they often come across as smart a****, usually completely unaware of what they are doing. Sometimes with underlying frustration. Cousins of trolls (below).
Desperate job hunter: “…spends a lot of time networking, sending out resumes but tends to forget developing their personal brand.”
Our comment: in order for your job hunting process to be effective, you need to present yourself professionally. That requires spending some time on preparing your LinkedIn profile and activity. Example: tag lines that say e.g. “looking for a job” (1,150,533 results), “looking for a new challenge” (267,358 results). What is even worse: posting CV with full personal and / or sensitive data. Our “favorite”: publicly complaining about interviews and / or lack of response from companies.
Quiet listener: “…not really visible on LinkedIn. Reads mostly, is on and off the platform. Could also be seen as disengaged.”
Our comment: Jakob Nielsen has an interesting insight about contribution and participation of users on social media and online communities. Other interesting statistics:
Evangelist: “…the LinkedIn master Jedi. Teaches you how to get the best out of the platform. Flexes his muscles by giving out tips and tricks.”
Our comment: in the last years we’ve seen a sudden increase of “LinkedIn experts”. It increased from 185,987 profiles that have the key word LinkedIn expert in 2019 to 280,939 in 2020! We recommend to follow the content and the advice from John Espirian.
Troll: “…only interested in challenging others, destroying what they build regardless of the topic.”
Our comment: often aggressive and impolite, as well as sarcastic. Important: [counter-intuitive] if you block them e.g. from your company page, you won’t see them anymore, but the others will continue seeing everything.
Rockstar: “…great story tellers, awesome marketers, but above all they focus always on genuine original content. The engagement and response they generate is based on the quality of their content, not their title or position.”
Our comment: We call them “Power users”; they really took the time to understand how LinkedIn works and apply that know–how adequately. They know how to tag, hashtag and so on!
LinkedIn virgin: we added that category ourselves. These are users that are new to LinkedIn and are trying their best to become Power users. While learning, they often make these common mistakes:
- #using#hashtags#all wrong
- posting “naked links” without a comment or loaded preview or graphics (normally you could infer from the link where it leads to, BUT LinkedIn converts all links to “linkedin-short-links”)
- to generate graphics, they print screen a Word document (not a .pdf) that shows underlined spelling mistakes. We highly recommend using Canva.com
- not adding a message to the LinkedIn invite when there’s no obvious context
If you think you could be doing better, we highly recommend you have a look at the LinkedIn Activity Guidelines that we prepared. This step–by–step guide will show you how to manage your LinkedIn profile & activity to be more effective and professional.
If you believe that your team / board could use dedicated LinkedIn training or support in preparing their profiles, Career Angels can help! To find out more, send an email to Sandra.Bichl (at) CareerAngels.eu with the subject: LinkedIn training / support.
If you are an experienced manager with at least 10 years of experience who doesn’t want to wait for their employer to sponsor a session on LinkedIn, feel free to ask Career Angels for an objective review of their LinkedIn profile. Click here to request it or send an email to Bichl.Sandra (at) CareerAngels.eu. Subject: LinkedIn Report.