The most often stated reason people tell me they have lost their LinkedIn account is when they are using a business name instead of their given name on LinkedIn. In fact, when I start getting a flurry of calls, I know they are cleaning house once again.
You see, although many social media sites care about their number of accounts, LinkedIn realizes if they allow a lot of fluff and bad information on the site, they will lose their reputation for being a great place for business. So they frequently and with regularity impose punishments of various sorts for bad or unwanted behavior.
Is it bad to use a personal profile to represent your business? You bet! Because in this online community, profiles are for people and pages are for businesses. Some business people either don’t want a personal profile or they just don’t know the rules, so they create a profile and use their business name in the name field instead of their own.
The downside is, so many people understand the rules, that this unsuspecting person doesn’t realize how much they hurt their reputation by coloring outside of these particular lines. But here’s the real deal:
LinkedIn WILL shut down your account if they find you using anything other than your name and lettered credentials in your name field. They take no excuses. They shut off the account and I have NEVER heard of them reinstating it later for any reason. The offending party is left to create a new account and trying to rebuild.
The only except to this was a close friend who had a checkmark symbol in her name field. She reached out to LinkedIn support to ask a question and was replied with “you have an illegal character in your name field. Once that is removed, we will answer your question.” Ouch.
So, no matter what you may see other people do; do yourself a favor, color inside the lines. Here is one area you absolutely want to Fit In. Standing out with anything other than your name does you no favors. By the way, you can find the EULA (End User License Agreement) at the bottom of every LinkedIn page, or click here.
What other habits do you find annoying?