Fake Profiles – How Do You Know?

How do you know if they are Fake Profiles?

Honestly, I don’t always know what are fake profiles and what aren’t. But I recently read this article from LinkedIn about what they are doing to combat Fake Profiles – An Update on How We’re Fighting Fake Accounts | Official LinkedIn Blog

In the past year my Facebook account was cloned. You can read about that here. I was surprised I was hit because I do all the password things I am supposed to do. I don’t click on suspicious email links. But it happened. It made me very leery about connecting with people that I don’t know, especially on Facebook.

I know I have connected with fake profiles on Twitter. I am pretty sure I follow some fake profiles on Instagram, but not as many. On Facebook, I always look at the invitations from people that I might know to see how developed the profile is and who mutual friends / connections might be. If it is a repeat invitation from someone with whom I regularly communicate, I will send a text or message them through another social platform before connecting.

One of my Facebook friends recently decided to switch her account to a “grown-up” version and sent out several posts alerting people to the fact that she would be closing down the old account in an effort to share the more adult/professional version of herself.

On LinkedIn, I find that not as many people are trying to scam others. Based upon the article linked above, LinkedIn is doing what I would consider a decent job of nipping fake profiles in the bud.

7 tips

Here are my tips to do your due diligence before falling into the Fake Profile trap:

  1. Use a recent image of yourself on personal profiles.
  2. Brand your company profiles with a logo or a different image of yourself.
  3. Personalize any invitations that you send to people who might not know or remember you.
  4. Check profiles before you accept.
  5. Alert all connections if your account is compromised.
  6. If you do connect with a fake profile, be careful of any messages or requests asking for you to send money. If it is out of character, then it is probably fake!
  7. Don’t use the same password for all of your accounts to prevent a mass breech if you are compromised.
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LinkedIn Search Algorithms

What do we know about LinkedIn Search Algorithms?

All of the social media platforms are typically secretive about their search algorithms. Here is a short perspective of what we do know:

LinkedIn Search Algorithms

Keywords –

Everyone speaks about keywords being the number one search item for ANY platform social or browser. So how do you find your keywords?

One suggestion I make is to create a word cloud. Read one of my previous articles about how to find your keywords with a word cloud here.

From LinkedIn Help about keywords  – (Avoid these things.)

The order of a search result is determined in part by the profile, activity, and connections of the person who is searching.

Our goal is to optimize your search results. Before we return results, we consider the searcher’s activity on LinkedIn, the profiles returned by the query, and other members who have run similar searches in determining the sort order.

More keywords aren’t always better –  If you integrate an extended list of keywords into your profile, it’s likely that your profile will be filtered out by our spam detection algorithms, which will negatively impact your appearance in search results.

Keywords need to appear in your headline and hopefully in your job title. The job titles may have a slightly higher impact on the search result. Go with the more acceptable search term than what you may have actually been titled.*

Add keywords to your Summary, inside of your work experience, and ensure your are endorsed for them in your skills and experience.

Advanced Search Strings

People who know how to use the Boolean search method are quite successful at finding exactly what they want. This article by Paul Cameron of Speed Up my job Search .com gives a great example.

Here is a bonus article I found from 2011 with some valid premises. The thought behind the keywords and adding contract work seems like a way to get keywords in. The alternative to that now would be to add each contract under the company name as a change in job for that company.

Connections

Connect to as many people as you can to broaden your network. So many people think that you should only connect with people you have met in person, but that defeats the purpose of the breadth of a network like LinkedIn. Others say they don’t want to have their customers as connections because the competition could steal them. If you connect with everyone you know (and meet) and some of those you don’t already know,

The more connections you have, the more “detective” work you can do. My adage is that it is not about who you know, but who they know. That 2nd degree connection might be just the person you need for your next contract or job. Sometimes recruiters limit the search to 2nd degree, or a business owner may do the same when searching for a contractor.

Activity

From my research in preparing for this article, I see that the more active you are with relevant posts containing useful content, the higher you could rank (at least in the feed). I have not tested the following statement. I believe that if someone is searching for a subject matter expert, you will rank higher in search results if you also have the right keywords, skills/endorsements, and 500+ connections.

If anyone who reads this has more definitive answers, please share them with me!!

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Export LinkedIn Connections

Why would you want to Export LinkedIn Connections?

There are a couple of reasons why you would want to export LinkedIn connections, but the main one is to use them for your marketing/outreach efforts. If you don’t use the Sales Navigator feature in LinkedIn, you may want to download your connections and enter them into a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. Here is an article I found that lists more CRM tools that I would want to review – customer relationship management software apps

OR, you could just use them in an Excel spreadsheet and work through them making phone calls or sending letters.

Here are the directions: (watch a video)

  1. Click My Network icon in the LinkedIn menu bar
  2. Find the number that represents your Connections on the left side of the screen.
  3. On the right side find the words Manage Synced and Imported Contacts (it is a light gray color.) Click.
  4. Also on the right side find the words Export Contacts and click.
  5. This takes you to your privacy settings where you can download any and all of your data. Select the second option and select Connections. Fill in your password in the pop-up box. You will receive an email in about 10 minutes letting you know your file is ready.
  6. Go back to the screen where you ordered the archive and download.
  7. Unzip the file.
  8. Save as .xls instead of .crv
  9. Sort and use!

You may still have to use LinkedIn or other methods to find things like phone numbers and addresses, but you have the start of the database and an email address.

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LinkedIn Background image changes!

Do you have a LinkedIn Background image?

My favorite social media tool recently changed the way the LinkedIn background image appears on your public profile. I mean recently. I taught a class on May 7 and it looks different today!!

It is a good idea to include an image on your background. If you sell products or services, make it a marketing type image.  If you are in job search mode, try to find an image that reflects what it is that you do. When I teach LinkedIn workshops, I suggest to attendees that they create a word cloud to find / represent their key words. That word cloud image might make the perfect LinkedIn background image for your profile.LinkedIn background image changes

The image size they suggest is 1584 pixels by 396 pixels. If you have an image created for a YouTube or Google background, the image is about the right size. As you can see from the image, your profile picture covers the lower left corner of the image, so take that into consideration when you are designing something new.

I write and teach about LinkedIn. In my opinion it is the best tool to network and connect for business. Using this image and a professional looking head shot will boost your views. You need to also pay attention to the keywords you use in your profile and where. Interested in an upcoming workshop for job seekers? Check this site – Harper College Eventbrite

If you would like to read other articles about LinkedIn, check out these:

I am happy to work with you one-on-one to make your profile show up higher in search results organically. Consider this when searching for a new position or promoting your products and services.

While it is just something nice to have, you can make your LinkedIn background image work to your advantage. Contact me if you need more assistance.

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