As LinkedIn surpasses 300 million users, it clearly remains a powerful networking site where the benefits of social meet the needs of the professional.
Still, there seems to be some confusion on how to use LinkedIn; there are still several basic tenets of using LinkedIn that seem to go ignored. Specifically, we seem to be using Linked as we use Facebook or Twitter.
If you want the other pros on LinkedIn to take you seriously, you need to avoid certain behaviors; some of which are perfectly acceptable on other social networks. For best results, here are 6 social networking practices you should not to do on LinkedIn…
Frequent Status Updates
People don’t check LinkedIn nearly as often as Facebook or most other Social Networks for that matter. So I recommend that statuses are updated no more than once or twice a day. This is more for your benefit than for your network. Oversimplify here and focus on sharing much less frequently, while trying to find highly interesting content that will benefit your connections.
I know you may want to be a first level connection with Mark Zuckerberg or Tim Cook, however random connection requests here are generally not looked upon fondly.
Collecting connections is kind of like collecting twitter followers. If they aren’t interested in you, your product, or your service then the connection may not hold much value. If you really want to give it a go and connect to those you have no relationship with, at the very least include a little note saying why you want to connect and how a relationship with you may become mutually beneficial.
Profile Picture Faux Pas
First of all, there is no excuse anymore for not having a profile picture. That in itself is a faux pas. However, worse than no pic are those that put their Friday night bender pics at the bar up as their profile pic. Worse yet, the kissing the girlfriend pictures or the can’t find my shirt picture.
This is a “Professional” networking site so while I can’t shame the start-up CEO for taking a picture in his favorite T-shirt, I may recommend just for this one picture that you put on a collar, and a quality smile.
Facebook is a great place to talk about your weekend adventures or great meals out. On Pinterest you can pin the picture of your dinner and you can tweet about it to your followers. On LinkedIn the updates should be professional in nature. So unless it personally has to do with a career change, a published article, or perhaps some good news about your company, LinkedIn isn’t the place for it.
There is no better way to annoy your network than to spam your groups and/or connections with an un-targeted self promotion. For many, this includes an overly aggressive job search strategy.
Using in-mail and very targeted communications can be extremely effective on LinkedIn and that is a much better way to leverage the platform as you build your network and start your career.
Just like spamming, I don’t recommend this on any platform. Instead, treat LinkedIn just like a resume: if you put it on LinkedIn make sure it is accurate and can be verified. Otherwise, your efforts to build your personal brand and grow your professional network could be seriously damaged when trust is broken.
Just like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is a great social network. However, we have to remember it is a “professional” network… and to achieve best results we must use it that way.
How do you maximize your results with LinkedIn? Are there other irritating behaviors on LinkedIn that you often see? Continue the conversation in the comments section below!
For this post, YouTern Thanks our friends at Millennial CEO!
About the Author: Daniel Newman a Adjunct Professor of Management at North Central College. A Chicago native all of his life, Newman is an avid golfer, a fitness fan, and a classically trained pianist. Check out Daniel’s blog, and follow him on Twitter.