Once LinkedIn is a Joke, Suddenly it became a Hot Social Network. Each day, I see people making mistakes on LinkedIn which not only waste their time, but do damage to their credibility. To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, it’s essential that you understand and carefully utilize proper LinkedIn etiquette and best practices.
LinkedIn (Professional Social Platform)“It’s Not About You, It’s All About Them”. People are always thinking WIIFM i.e. “What’s In It For Me”.The biggest mistakes on social media stems from the misconception that people care about what you have to say. That’s simply not the case. They care about finding solutions to their problems — that’s it.
As you continue to take your networking online, here are the do’s and don’ts to make your connections really count and to keep you current and well-liked among the LinkedIn crowd. Follow them diligently and you can meet wonderful people and propel yourself down the path to networking success.
DO Keep It Professional
Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook. When I say keep it professional, I mean don’t talk about anything on LinkedIn that isn’t related to business. LinkedIn is a business social network and people expect things to be professional at all times. Yes, this means no pictures of your meals or pets. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all great social networks, but it’s important to understand the differences.
DO Treat Your Profile as Professional Broucher
Your profile should tell a story about your brand. In sharing the products and services that you offer, you should be telling your clients about your values and what makes you unique. In sharing the experiences of your CEO or other top executives, you should be telling clients what sets you apart from competitors.
DO Have a Professional Headshot
People choose all sorts of inappropriate photographs to use in their LinkedIn profiles. Remember, LinkedIn is a professional business network and your photograph should reflect that. Don’t include anyone else — or your pet — in your photograph. Unprofessional looking photographs can damage your credibility and your personal brand, as well as preventing people from connecting with you.
DO Check who viewed your profile
Do you ever check who has visited your profile? If not, you may be missing out on interesting people who have already shown interest in you. You have been searched but no invitation has been sent- this does not mean that you cannot reach out to them if you find them interesting. Invite them to connect and, of course, send a message and tell them why you should connect.
DO Join Relevant Groups
LinkedIn has numerous professional groups that you can use to find your clients and to establish your authority. When you join groups, you can establish your authority by sharing relevant information or offering solutions for the members. Offer solutions and information that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with you but that provides value to the members. They will be much more likely to listen to you when you are promoting yourself later.
DO Share enriching content
Posting content regularly on LinkedIn will help you look more professional and improve your credibility. It can also help keep you top of mind and provide opportunities for others to engage with you. When you share content on LinkedIn, whether it’s your own or others’ content, the goal should be to create value.Ensure that you post updates and articles that your connections will find interesting or useful.
DO Endorse Your Connections
If you recognize that someone you are connected to possesses certain skills, always endorse them. Likely, they’ll return the favor. You never know when an endorsement could lead to another position.
DO Nurture Relationships
LinkedIn is about networking, not promoting yourself. Make sure that you are actually using the site to network. Nurture relationships by commenting on the posts that your connections share, as well as the posts that some of their connections share. Make sure your comments actually advance the conversation, rather than offering up something generic like, “Nice post!”. You can also nurture relationships through the conversations that you have in groups and in the comments section on LinkedIn Pulse blogs.
DON`T Send Spammy Messages or Irrelevant to Your Connections
Remember that everything you send to your connections should be positioned for their benefit, not yours. If it’s not, then it’s likely to be considered spam.
And also Don’t send out irrelevant, script-styled messages to your connections.
DON’T Use the Default Connection Request
When you request to connect with someone on LinkedIn, the default message says “Join My Network on LinkedIn.” There’s nothing wrong with that message, but if you want to get more attention, you will create a custom connection message. The more personal your message, the more likely your request is to get noticed and to be accepted. The more connections you have, the more likely you are to get results from your activities on the site.
DON´T Ignore Opportunities That May Arise
Even if you’re content in your career, you never know when your company may go under, the economy may turn, or when you desire to grow beyond your current position. Be open to potential opportunities that seem promising, and don’t limit yourself from going through the process.
DON`T Lock Down Your Profile
Privacy settings are there for your protection, but don’t forget this is a social network and you want to engage with other people. Don’t make the mistake of trying to protect and treat your LinkedIn profile like your Facebook profile — LinkedIn is a business platform. With this in mind, make your contact list open to connections, make your activity feed open to everyone, and ensure your name and profile is open to everyone.
DON`T Criticize Others or Comment Negatively
Another major faux pas is to criticize others or comment negatively. I often see people in heated debates, or insulting their competitors, which serves no purpose other than to turn many people off. Keep your comments positive and never be insulting.
DON´T Ask New Connections or People You Don’t Know to Endorse You
Don’t ask someone to endorse your skills unless they are friends, family, colleagues, a client, or someone who knows you well. One of the best ways to get endorsements is to give them. When you endorse someone, that pers
DON´T Forget to Check & Reply to Comments
When someone takes the time to read and comment on your status update or LinkedIn Publisher post, make an effort to reply to them in a timely manner. Not only is this a great way to start or build a relationship with the commenter but keep in mind that your post or article will now be visible to their 1st level network, expanding your reach.
DON`T Be a LinkedIn open networker (LION)
While becoming a LION may seem like an excellent way to grow your network quickly, it is neither efficient nor effective. A LION is a person who will accept a connection request from anyone who sends them one. But the quality of your network is much more important than its quantity. You should be focused on connecting with the right people, and not everyone who sends you a connection request will be the right person for you.
LinkedIn is a social platform for businesses and professionals. It is a professional space, much the same as a business office, where you meet your potential prospects or clients. If something is not appropriate to be shared with prospects or clients face-to-face in your office, chances are, it is also inappropriate to be shared on LinkedIn.
By following LinkedIn etiquette rules and best practices, you will notice a profound difference in your ability to connect and build relationships with potential prospects and clients on LinkedIn.