LinkedIn Etiquette: 10 Things You should Follow
LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world with more than 500 million users in hundreds of countries. It is the undisputed leader in professional networking site trusted by all. The Mission statement of the company says it all.
“Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
The company has its own rules and policies in place to make this network smooth. Yet as you are showcasing yourself and your expertise as professional, your own practices within the network is closely noted as a pro.
A few factors you should keep in mind about your network presence are:
1. Complete your profile as much as possible
Though you don’t need to share every minute detail of your experience, but a brief description of your role at each juncture in your professional course gives a better outline of your career and establishes it as trustworthy.
Without your profile photograph, your profile is incomplete. The profile photo is featured in a circle, which should focus on your face – your eyes and smile. It should be preferably a clean and sharp image facing camera with a nice and clean background.
2. Be Honest with your Information
Consider the following scenario. You find a former peer on LinkedIn and as you review his experience, you find he misrepresented a past role or the responsibilities he served. As a result, you start looking at everything he claimed to have done with a little more skepticism.
Don't be involved in anything similar that puts your credibility at risk.
3. Personalize your connection requests
Always accompany an introduction of yourself with the context for which you wish to connect in not more than two lines with your connection request. Reminding people how you know them or explaining why they should connect with you is a professional way of inviting connection.
You should remember, if too many people respond to your invitation by clicking ‘I Don’t Know This Person’, LinkedIn will restrict your connection. Sending future LinkedIn invitations may be not possible for you.
4. Send a Welcome note to those accepting your invitations
When someone accepts an invitation to join your network, send them a personalized welcome message. This is a mark of professionalism.
Many people say that they are active on LinkedIn yet it never contribute in generating leads for them. This is because they are not diligent in connecting with their connections. In order to make your new connections interested in you, you must first show interest in them.
5. Be Prompt in your Response
LinkedIn is a professional platform and time is crucial in professional sphere. Sometimes your connections may be seeking some important information from you or sharing an opportunity for you that is time sensitive. This means responding to this message after the golden period is of little or no value. So being prompt with your LinkedIn response is an essential part of your larger professional role.
6. Be Active Regularly
Posting content regularly on LinkedIn will help you look more initiated and improve your credibility. In case time is a constraint, you can share topics related to your expertise that are smart and insightful.
Your activity details is visible under the Activity & Articles section of your profile. Posting something that is of value to your target audience regularly and posting an article once a week on LinkedIn Publisher to establish your authority in your professional area adds to your credibility.
Avoid everything that is not related to your professional self.
7. Invest Time to Develop Relationships
Grow and nurture your LinkedIn relationships through regular engagement. Send congratulatory messages on a new job or other simple value-based messages when appropriate to your connections.
LinkedIn provides suggestions in the notification page of connections with significant events related to your profile. You can also nurture relationships by engaging with your connections’ content such as liking, sharing and commenting on their posts.
8. Retain Top of the Mind Space of your Audience
Being a user intensive platform, most of the profiles on LinkedIn has a lot of connections. To be in the forefront in the mind of your connections and nurture your relationships, send messages tailored to each contact’s individual needs. Personal attention is always remembered as a mark of value and respect.
If you come across content that would be of interest or value to someone specific within your network (especially a prospect or client), send it to them in a private message.
9. Connect preferably with people you know
People invest their valuable time in LinkedIn for professional reasons. So be sure about your purpose when sending connection invitation to anybody. Unless of any mutual value generation, don’t connect. Similarly accept connection requests from people with professional intent after gathering sufficient information on them.
10. Give recommendations to get recommendations
It makes sense and add value to personalize your requests for recommendations. Always personalize messages, including recommendation requests as that reflects a mark of professionalism. Moreover recommendation is a serious issue and the process of requesting about it should mark your serious intent.
The best way to ask for recommendation is to first give one. When you consider logically, the best recommendations should come from the people you know and respect the most, who naturally are the people you can most genuinely recommend.