Of all the current social media choices available to us, it seems that LinkedIn is the one most preferred and used by business professionals. Once again when there is a new arrival on the Internet scene as there was with LinkedIn, officially launched in 2003, it came to us with few instructions.
There was no manual on how to use it and when to use it. You had to search the Internet, talk to your techy friends and dig around on your own. And once again as with our cell phones, smart phones and other technological devices, there was no set of rules for LinkedIn etiquette. They have simply evolved over time.
With its numbers growing by two every second, its professional users need to be aware of the rules of professional conduct for managing their LinkedIn accounts. LinkedIn members use this form of social media to actively look for jobs, read work-related content, perform “professionally-oriented searches,” join professional groups and promote themselves and their products or services. When used correctly, you can attract other business people to you. When LinkedIn etiquette is ignored, you can turn people off.
So what are the do’s and don’ts of etiquette for LinkedIn? To come across as a polished professional on the Internet, here are my suggestions.
Five Do’s for LinkedIn Etiquette
1. Personalize your requests for connections. Avoid sending the default message. Use the person’s name and tell them who you are and why you want to connect.
2. Use a profile picture. No one wants to connect to a faceless silhouette.
3. Keep it professional. If you want to post personal information, use Facebook or another form of social media.
4. Nurture your relationships. Regularly send useful content or individual messages to people in your network. There is no point in having 500+ connections if you don’t engage with them.
5. Respond promptly to messages. Treat your LinkedIn messages the same as email by sending a timely response—the same day if possible.
Five Don’ts for LinkedIn Etiquette
1. Don’t spam your connections. Whatever you send should benefit your connections. This is not a self-serving platform.
2. Don’t post more than once a day. If you “over-post, you will turn people off.
3. Never ask people you don’t know for recommendations. On the other hand, don’t post recommendations for people whom you don’t know.
4. Never send a message to someone saying “I see you viewed my profile.” That’s like calling someone back when they didn’t leave you a voice message.
5. Don’t use it as you would Twitter or Facebook. It is critical to know the etiquette for each network. Your LinkedIn connections are not interested in what you ate for lunch.
The polished professional knows the rules of LinkedIn Etiquette in order to create and maintain an effective network of connections.
Your copy of my new holiday eBook is waiting for you in The Manners Store or on Amazon in Kindle. It is not too soon to start your holiday planning and brush up on your business etiquette. Right now you should be selelcting your holiday cards and updating your mailing list. This book will guide you through the process and offer tips for addressing the envelopes.Don’t wait to get “Business Etiquette for the Holidays; Building Relationships Amid the Perils of the Season.”
If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you. Please contact me.