LinkedIn Best Practices

linkedinbestpractices

Like any other social system, LinkedIn has its best practices and it’s unspoken etiquette. This article covers the best practices for using LinkedIn to widen your circle of meaningful connections. If you haven’t done so already, please see the first article of this series.

As a member and frequent user of LinkedIn, I find it to be a tremendous tool for my job and a great way to get advice or information quickly. But what are the best practices for using LinkedIn?

Do

  • Add real value to the discussions that you comment on or create. Be helpful to others!
  • Get your LinkedIn Profile 100% complete. Many LinkedIn users will not look at a profile if it is not completed in full.
  • Join Groups that are applicable to you and your goals on LinkedIn. This will save you time, energy and a lot of potential connections to people that are not relevant to your world.
  • Customize your invitation to link with others and let them know why they should connect with you. This also helps you to keep your connections relevant. The general note from LinkedIn to connect is often deleted immediately.
  • Keep your comments and discussions relevant to the group’s purpose and mission. For example, don’t talk health care on a teacher’s forum or look for help with a client issue on a church group.
  • Have a thick skin! Many people hide behind their computers and can get pretty nasty! Especially if they feel you are a competitive threat. Laugh it off and don’t respond. A response can make things worse. If you have a serious complaint about a member’s actions, tell the group administrator or the LinkedIn staff. They are usually very responsive.

Don’t

  • Spam others! In discussions or private e-mails, spam is not well received and can get you removed from groups (and can even have your entire account closed).
  • Connect with people that you don’t know or have no reason to connect with.
  • Comment on or start discussions too frequently. No one likes a discussion “hog,” so leave a day or two before you start a new discussion. This will also keep people from ignoring you on LinkedIn. You will also not look like a “know it all.”
  • Disagree with a discussion topic without providing some ideas. Often members will comment that they disagree or don’t like a discussion but do not add constructive input, a solution or why they disagree. This is not well liked in LinkedIn.
  • Sell, Sell, Sell. No one likes to feel like they are being sold to all the time. Vendors are often removed from groups or they lose credibility from this practice. Be helpful, and if you can use your company to do that great, but don’t try and sell your product or service as a solution.

Related Article:
Part 1: Using LinkedIn For Your Consulting Business

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