Proactively using LinkedIn to further your career, broaden your network, or build your business requires effort and a strategic approach but, most importantly, good manners. Too many people forget about the last item which is why this list is necessary. Everyone could use some reminders about proper LinkedIn etiquette so here are a few suggestions to help you make the most out of your LinkedIn efforts.
People connect with you to interact, network and share value. They do not want to receive a sales pitch within minutes of accepting your connection request. That immediately tells them the real reason you wanted to connect. It was not to connect but to sell. Furthermore, just because you didn’t try to sell them after first connecting with them, it does not mean you have permission to sell them with every subsequent encounter. Try being helpful with information and introductions to build trust and rapport. Such activities pay greater dividends over time.
2. Using LinkedIn Like Tinder
Unfortunately, some members of LinkedIn have decided that it is permissible to use LinkedIn as a dating site where they can screen prospective dating candidates based on their professional credentials rather than personal interests and other personal details typically found in dating profiles. People are not expecting nor should they have to endure such behaviour on LinkedIn. Keep it professional always!
3. LinkedIn Is Not Facebook, Or Any Other Social Network
Increasingly, people are sharing more personal types of content on LinkedIn. Being more human is not a bad thing, but please apply common sense. LinkedIn is still predominantly a professional network so be just that - professional. Don’t share a picture of your lunch, an inappropriate joke, or polarizing content related to religion or politics. Think about what you are posting and why. Focus on helpful and informative posts.
4. Not Posting Regularly Or Engaging
Part of keeping your network vibrant is posting updates regularly and commenting on or sharing the posts of others in your network. It’s about keep your network informed about you and keeping informed about them. Create opportunities for engagement based on what you share or what your network is sharing or doing. Stay abreast of and participate in Group Discussions too. You never know what will happen as a result.
5. Leverage Mobile
LinkedIn has some apps for smartphones and tablets. Take advantage of them. We are increasingly reliant on smartphones to help us be productive. It is no different with our activities on LinkedIn. The mobile apps make it easy for people to share updates, follow the activities of their network, and keep abreast of group discussions. They also highlight opportunities for us to engage our network based on birthdays, new jobs, and work anniversaries. If you have a few extra minutes in advance of a meeting or waiting for a ride, see who you can send congratulatory or birthday messages too. It is an easy way to keep in touch with your network.
Just be sure to customize your messages to stand out even more from the others they will likely receive.
LinkedIn is an extensive platform with many features and functions that can be utilized by users. Like many other tools, they can be used productively or not. Hopefully, this post has provided you with some guidance on how to get more out of LinkedIn in the most positive ways possible.
About the Author
Andrew Jenkins is Founder and Principal of Volterra, a professional services firm that has provided social media strategy, outsourced social media
management, content development
and planning, and social selling training to numerous mid to large enterprises. Andrew has spent the last twenty years working in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) spanning social media, wireless, and e‐business throughout North America and Europe. He has been identified as a social selling expert and has been featured in LinkedIn marketing campaigns, most recently as one of ten Canadian success stories. He speaks regularly at conferences and events about social media and social selling. He is a member of the Board of the Direct Marketing Association of Canada. He holds a BA in Economics from Laurentian University, a BFA in Film Production from York University, and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He also taught entrepreneurship at OCAD University and currently teaches Digital Strategy at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.