Mistakes happen but if you can learn how to avoid them that’s what counts.
For instance, when it comes to LinkedIn some folks are concerned that by using LinkedIn for business, they might do something wrong.
But don’t let that prevent you from using the social media platform for business and reap its rewards.
To make sure you don’t make an error (s) while using LinkedIn consider the following LinkedIn don’ts. Try these LinkedIn etiquette tips to help steer you in the right direction.
Don’t Send Unnecessary Messages to Connections
Never give away your connection list or share it with anyone, especially if you don’t know the person who makes the request.
Why would you want to share such an important list with a stranger? And at the same time, why would you share your contacts information without their permission
The request may very well be of the spam nature so be leery of such requests you don’t recognize.
Also, avoid sending out personal things like invitations that are not relevant to those on your connections list. Do not send any messages a receiver will not find value in and instead reads more self-serving or could even be interpreted as spam.
Don’t Send Messages After Someone Reads Your Profile
Be sure to check who’s viewed your profile and connect with them at some point. However, don’t send a message that mentions you noticed they viewed your LinkedIn profile.
Just because someone looked at your profile doesn’t provide enough of a reason to connect with them. If this were the case, they would have already sent a connection request.
But if the person who viewed your profile is someone you do want to connect with, go ahead, but have another reason to send a request and don’t say you saw they visited your profile.
Don’t Protect Your Profile Too Much
Privacy settings are there for a reason and that’s to serve as your protection. However, do keep in mind LinkedIn is a social media platform and you do want to engage with other people. Don’t protect and treat your LinkedIn profile like other social media profiles you might have since it is a business platform.
Make your contact list open to connections, your activity feed open to everyone, and ensure your name and profile is open to everyone.
If there are some you'd rather not share your information, they shouldn’t be a part of your network. Just remove them as a connection.
Don’t Place Connections in Your Email List
You definitely do not want to export your connection list and add them to your email database. Don’t think just because someone has connected with you on LinkedIn it gives you permission to add them to your list and send them emails. This is considered by many to be completely unethical and in some countries such as Canada illegal.
Don’t Ask People to Endorse You
Be sure you don’t ask someone to endorse your skills unless they are friends, family, colleagues, a client, or a person who knows you quite well.
A good way to get endorsements is to give them yourself. When you endorse someone, that person gets a notification and will typically reciprocate by endorsing you.
Don’t Ask Connections for Recommendations
One of the biggest no-no’s is asking someone you don’t know for a recommendation. If they don’t know you and/or not experienced with your services, how can they offer a true recommendation?
Also, never recommend to someone you don’t know or whose services you have never experienced. Your credibility could be in jeopardy if that person turns out to be the wrong choice.
When you are sharing your content, remember your goal is to provide value. Do NOT post promotional information about yourself, or business without giving value to your connections.
Don’t Criticize Others or Comment Negatively
Another big mistake is criticizing others or comment negatively. Stay away from debates or insulting their competitors. Keep comments positive and try not to be insulting.
Don’t Forget to Respond to Comments
If someone reads and later comments on your status update or LinkedIn Publisher post, do reply to them ASAP. This is a good way to build a relationship with the commenter or start a new one, Don’t forget a post or article becomes visible to their first level network, further expanding your audience.
In the end, proper LinkedIn etiquette should always be about providing value to those you want to connect with and not about promoting yourself.