When you’re on LinkedIn, or any social media channel for that matter, you have to know what’s accepted and what isn’t. If you cross the line it will only lead to you experiencing difficulties connecting with people. And so you are going to learn all about LinkedIn etiquette.
Why the Problem?
Every social media network has its own set of etiquette rules. LinkedIn is no exception. The difficulty here is that you have to navigate the potentially complicated tools that are available. There are so many difficulties associated with this platform that it isn’t difficult to make mistakes.
Remember Its Purpose
You always need to remember what the purpose of LinkedIn is. It’s for you to find a job or connect with other professionals. Grasping that alone should tell you all you need to know about avoiding many of the most common etiquette mistakes.
The Other Side
There’s another side to it as well. You may be a recruiter, but despite the fact that your roles may differ the same etiquette rules apply. You don’t need to act differently just because your purpose is different now. The chances are you will wear many hats when you are on LinkedIn.
1. Hide Your Activity
Your activity is what happens every time you do something on LinkedIn. That includes any updates you make to your profile, so you can imagine how chaotic it gets when you are performing a profile overhaul. Plus you may not want to demonstrate to your current employer that you are searching for another job.
Switch off activity!
But Keep Your Profile Public
Turning off activity doesn’t mean that you have to keep your profile private. A public profile will ensure that you can continue to connect with others without alerting anyone.
Make sure that your public profile is turned on and make sure others can see when you have viewed their profiles. A public profile can make it clear to people that you are interested in what they have to offer.
2. Maintain Transparency
The key to creating connections on social media is to maintain full transparency at all times. One of the biggest mistakes people make is leaving gaps in their employment history and leaving out key pieces of information. Make sure you demonstrate that any major gaps have a reason attached.
Building Real Relationships
It’s all down to the fact that you are here to build real human relationships. A lack of transparency sends the subtle message that you have no interest in building up a relationship based on trust. LinkedIn, more than any other platform, is about crafting those relationships.
3. Know the People in the Back
LinkedIn is not about idle chatter. It’s about making connections and getting things done. This is where you should try to find out more about the people behind the position, particularly on a personal level. It can help you win a lot of points in the long-term because you are demonstrating how eager you are to know the real person.
Getting to know the people behind the position will give you an advantage.
Creepiness is Fine
And that’s what people want to see. It’s not like on Facebook where you may feel incredibly awkward. On LinkedIn, it’s flattering. The worst people can do is reject your request to connect anyway.
4. Be Aggressive
Ultimately, you need to be open about what you want to accomplish. LinkedIn consists mainly of professionals who want to do something. They have a goal in mind, and one of these goals is not idle chatter. Be aggressive about what you want to accomplish.
Bravery Wins the Day
To be aggressive you have to be brave. Successful users of LinkedIn are not afraid of rejection. They have no problem with potentially risking a ‘no’. They will just move on to the next person.
5. Make First Contact Count
Did you know that most people don’t have access to an unlimited InMail account?
That’s big news because it means that you have to make each message count. Cram as much information into that message as possible, otherwise your target may never read it. Everything should be relevant and you shouldn’t send a message unless it has some sort of point.
That’s the question you should always look to answer. You need to make it clear why someone should trust you over someone else. You need to answer why someone should talk to you instead of that other guy. It should be the guiding philosophy behind every message you send.
Closing Thoughts on LinkedIn Etiquette
LinkedIn etiquette is very much about understanding that this social media platform is not there to help you pass the time. It’s about getting things done, and that’s what makes it stand out in the whole world of social media.
What are your biggest etiquette mistakes on LinkedIn?