Why-you-should-never-use-a-company-name-on-LinkedIn

Why you should never use a company name as your profile name on LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be an excellent business tool for making important connections and getting introductions to the right people. When used correctly, you can use LinkedIn to expand your business network and grow your business. You make subtle ‘touches’ with your connections to remind them of yourself, you can post updates and articles to share your experience and knowledge, and you can cultivate your recommendations and endorsements to further expand your credibility.

You can also make some monumental, embarrassing mistakes.

One such mistake is setting up your LinkedIn profile as a company name instead of using your own name. Some people do this in the misguided understanding that it, somehow, helps their online marketing and allows them to be found more easily in searches. They think that, by using a business name, it makes them look more professional.

It doesn’t. It makes them look like they don’t know how to use LinkedIn and, perhaps more importantly, it’s against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions. LinkedIn will actively remove profiles that have been set up as company names in much the same way as Facebook does. Both LinkedIn and Facebook have separate methods for creating business pages, and they’re different from creating profiles. If you want to create a company page on LinkedIn, you do so here.

LinkedIn is about making connections with people, and people move about from position to position, from company to company. Where they have worked is added to their LinkedIn profile under their work history and, if they have been set up correctly, each position they have added will link to a relevant company page on LinkedIn. You do not make connections with companies. It’s the same as with Facebook, where you do not receive Friend Requests from companies. Instead, you ‘follow’ a company.

So why do people really set up LinkedIn profiles with their company name? There could be a number of reasons, and here are some of them:

  • They think it will help their company be found more easily
  • They want to directly market to their connections by sending them company-related updates (you can’t do this from an actual company page on LinkedIn unless people have followed you, or you pay for the sponsored updates)
  • They have absolutely no idea how LinkedIn works
  • They haven’t read the rules on setting up profiles and company pages

Whatever the reason, you don’t want to be connecting with someone who has set up a profile page using a company name. How would their work history look on their profile? How would their ‘current position’ work? How can you endorse a business name for things like networking, or business development?

None of it makes sense, and it’s not the right way to use LinkedIn. If you receive a connection request from someone with a company name instead of a profile name, they’re invariably going to spam you with sales messages. Therefore, we’d recommend you do not accept them as a connection. Furthermore, we recommend you report them to LinkedIn for spam. LinkedIn will eventually find and remove their profile anyway.

To use LinkedIn the right way, and to grow your connections and business, we have a course in growing your business with LinkedIn. The course costs £190 but, as a reader of our blog, you can get the course today for just £29 when you use the discount code LINK29 in the checkout.

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