LinkedIn was founded in 2002. Unlike many of its social media competitors – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat – LinkedIn has had sluggish but steady growth. LinkedIn now has almost 500 million users. LinkedIn has 3 million active job listings. 40% of LinkedIn users log in every day.
Like any social media platform, LinkedIn has both the power to promote talented individuals and the liability to destroy your professional image if used incorrectly.
Here are some social media rules and lessons on LinkedIn etiquette:
DON’T Send Spammy or Irrelevant Messages
For some people LinkedIn has become yet another place to bombard others with direct messaging sales spam. They are treating it almost like a secondary workplace email address.
Don’t treat your LinkedIn contacts like an email contact list and just send bulk communications. If you are going to message someone, be sure to write a custom message that is aimed at that individual and contains information that is relevant to them.
DO Use a Professional Headshot
LinkedIn is intended to be a professional networking social media platform. You are going to make first impressions with prospective clients, potential employers, and colleagues via your public profile. You cannot afford to have a photo which represents an image of you that you wouldn’t want others to see.
So, your professional headshot should not include an image of you: drinking alcohol, wearing offensive t-shirts, using holiday photos in general, smoking, wearing sunglasses, or making any ridiculous faces.
Above all, make sure you actually use a photo of yourself. This should show your entire face and should not be blurry thumbnail.
DON’T Make Negative Public Comments
Keep feedback constructive and look to provide this when it has been requested rather than assuming an individual wants to hear your view or opinion. In the same way you shouldn’t overtly criticize a fellow colleague in your workplace, think three times before commenting negatively on someone’s post. If you do feel compelled to respond to something, send the user you’re commenting on a personal message instead.
DO Use Personalized Connection Messages
When you connect with someone on LinkedIn you have the option to personalize your request to connect with a message. You should definitely personalize your connection message. For new connections or individuals you don’t have a relationship with, it’s just common courtesy to craft a personal message. While keeping it brief, hint at why you’re connecting with them. Why would this person be interesting in connecting with you?
DO Check in Regularly and Respond Promptly
Forty percent of LinkedIn users log in daily. As such, it makes sense to check in regularly and respond promptly to messages.
DON’T Keep Your Profile Private
LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool. Don’t hide yourself away. Build a profile that only contains information you’re happy to share publicly.
Do Make Regular Posts or Write Articles
You can write full-fledged articles on LinkedIn that can attract new connections. If your business is B2B, make quality posts on LinkedIn whenever you make business posts on Facebook, Twitter or any of your other social media platforms.