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10 LinkedIn Etiquette Tips

If you’re a Twitter user you are probably familiar with the Twitter language: hashtags, retweets, cc’s etc. Twitter has a very unique vibe, people are relaxed & casual. Danny Brown compares Twitter to a ‘chat in the pub’.

If you’re new to LinkedIn you might think that LinkedIn users are boring, sterile & not very friendly. However it’s not the user’s fault, it’s just that they are not familiar enough with all the possibilities & didn’t know that there’s such thing as a ‘LinkedIn Etiquette’. Yes, LinkedIn is a professional network & it’s not as laid back as Twitter, but if you apply the tips below, you will be able to build deep and long-lasting business relationships.

Personalize each & every invitation

It starts with the invitation to connect: don’t just use the default message which LinkedIn kindly suggests (I’d like to add you to my professional network). Take two minutes to personalize your message, explain why you’d like to connect and where you have met or come across the person’s profile.

Say ‘Thank You

I totally agree with Lori Ruff from Integrated Alliances who, in her tip on The LinkedIn Challenge (click to join, starting 12/1 2013), shares how important it is to say ‘thank you’. So whenever a connection accepts your invitation or if you accept their invitation, follow-up with a ‘thank you message’. This 2nd interaction is a step further into a relationship between you and your new LinkedIn connection.

Be a connector

LinkedIn is a networking platform. And it’s not just all about you. If you know two people who should know each other, introduce them. If one of your connections tells you that they are looking for someone with this and this skill and one of your connections has those skills, refer them! One of the tips on The LinkedIn Challenge will include a video on how to do this.

Share interesting updates with your own network

If one of your connections shares an interesting article or blog post, why not share it with your own network? It will help them (especially if it was their own blog post) but it will also help you position yourself as a resource of valuable & interesting content for your network. At the same time, every time you share an update you make yourself visible to your network.

Comment on updates

You can also comment on updates from your connections. They will appreciate it and it’s another small action to stay top of mind of this person & deepen the relationship with them.

Give credit to people with LinkedIn tags

Just like on Facebook, you can now also tag your 1st degree connections in your comments. It’s for example a good idea to give credit to the author if you share one of her blog posts with your network.

Don’t SPAM people

To send an e-mail to your LinkedIn connections every now and again is fine, but don’t abuse of this option. And NEVER ever import your LinkedIn connections into your mailing list without their permission. That’s just rude. Jo Saunders will expand on this tip on The LinkedIn Challenge.

Endorse only people you know and would also feel comfortable recommending

Endorsements… You either love them or hate them. I would say a good rule of thumb is to only endorse people who you would also feel comfortable sending a recommendation if they’d asked you

Recommend people

If you’ve worked with people who you truly appreciated take a pro-active approach & send them a recommendation. Not with the goal to be recommended in return – but just because you want to.

Wish your connections a Happy Birthday!

With the new LinkedIn Contact feature LinkedIn you can now send your connections a little birthday note. Just check under ‘Contacts/Your day’

Your turn: how is your LinkedIn Etiquette? Would you like to share anything you’re doing on LinkedIn to build long lasting relationships?

Sarah Santacroce

Sarah is an internationally recognized LinkedIn Specialist & Online Presence Mentor who has personally coached over 1,900 entrepreneurs. She helps them position themselves as experts on LinkedIn so they get clients with ease. In addition, Sarah is known for helping helping conscious entrepreneurs market their business authentically & anxiety-free, sell their services & make a difference. She’s also the founder of The Gentle Business Revolution movement and host of the podcast with the same name. When she’s not working, she loves adventure & traveling, yoga & nature walks or hanging out with her family.

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