LinkedIn is becoming one of the most used tools for business professionals and businesses for countless reasons that range from business development to human resources and talent recruitment. Because of this the 160 Million users that make up LinkedIn all use it for their own purposes. This being said, there are 3 general rules that need to be followed in order to function well with the other LinkedIn users out there and build your network effectively.
There are more rules for LinkedIn Etiquette out there, these three are targeted at the wider scope of the LinkedIn user based that are on the social network to build their connect base and get to know more people in their industry.
1. Fill out your whole profile and keep your page up-to-date
In business perception means a great deal. If a potential contact or employer comes to view your profile page and discovers you have barely filled out any of your information it is an immediate turnoff. They will most likely not know enough about you to make the connection and also shows that your LinkedIn profile isn’t really that important to you so might not be worth connecting over LinkedIn or connecting at all.
Keeping your profile up-to-date is good no matter what your intentions of LinkedIn are. If you attended a certification conference or attained a new skill in your industry add it to your profile! You never know who might be searching for that skill or knowledge. In short, having a completed and up-to-date profile can only make you look good, while an incomplete or obsolete profile will make you look lazy.
2. When adding a new contact, personalize a quick message
If you are adding a new contact or accepting a connection request add a quick little message in there to personalize it. The basic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is not enough. This doesn’t mean that you have to write a long message explaining why you wanted to add them to your contact list, it just means taking a moment to say hello in more detail when adding and saying thanks for the connection when someone adds you.
This usually can turn into a longer message exchange that can lead to a greater understanding of what one person wants out of the connection. At this point real connections are being made on a professional level which is what LinkedIn is for. It is not for building a list of contacts whom you have never really create a rapport with and will likely never talk to.
3. Do not spam your contact list with bland messages
One of the worst things any one can do on LinkedIn is use your connection base as merely another type of email list to spam and send out bland messages about anything and everything. This rule extends beyond your contact list alone and to any groups you are part of. The positive outcomes to the spamming cannot and will not outweigh the negative ramifications towards you or your organization’s online reputations.
LinkedIn knows that you shouldn’t do this and limits mass messages to 50 and remember with any social network you can be blocked and reported. It is always better to be safe than sorry.