9 tips for improving your LinkedIn Etiquette

LinkedIn is a minefield of written and unwritten rules. It’s no surprise that the average user is confused about what’s right and what’s wrong. Find 9 tips for improving your LinkedIn etiquette in this post.

LinkedIn Etiquette


9 Tips for Improving Your LinkedIn Etiquette

1. Define your connection strategy

LinkedIn is a networking platform and so the fine print on the LinkedIn connection invitation that says ‘Only connect with people you know’ does not make sense. However, you need to define your own connection strategy and connect with people who are valuable to your network. Read about my personal connection strategy. And of course, if you’re the one to send the invitation you need to always …

2. Personalize the invitation

Yes, I really recommend you personalize each and every invitation, even if you’ve just met the person the night before. It’s the first step of a new relationship on LinkedIn. Make a good first impression!

3. Stop adding your LinkedIn contacts to your mailing list

Yes, you technically can export all your connections into an Excel spreadsheet, but NO, you cannot add them to your mailing list without their consent. Just because you are connected on LinkedIn doesn’t mean that this person necessarily is interested in your newsletter ! I don’t judge people who send the default invitation, because they most likely just don’t know that they should personalize, but I do not tolerate people who add me to their mailing list because they know they shouldn’t be doing that !

4. Stop posting unprofessional content

LinkedIn is a professional platform, as I’m sure you know. So why are you posting silly games, math problems and other time wasters? To make sure you let everyone know that you have time to waste? Because that’s clearly the message that they are receiving. LinkedIn is for professional content, in any kind of format.

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5. Stop ‘liking’ your connections’ unprofessional content

Maybe you’re not the one posting the silly games, but even if you participate in them (like them, comment, share them) your network will still associate your name with them. So be careful about what you like !

6. Post quotes with moderation

Quotes is another type of content that can be found a lot on LinkedIn. Here my answer is: it depends. If you are posting motivational quotes or professional quotes every now and then, then I don’t mind. I might actually ‘like’ them. But if I can tell you are using some type of automation, and posting 1 quote per day or more, then I start to get annoyed and might hide you in my news feed. This is clearly the case if I see Twitter language with that quote (for example #motivationalmonday) ! Twitter and LinkedIn don’t get along well, so use quote automation with extreme care.

LinkedIn quote

7. Don’t SPAM LinkedIn groups

It’s hard to define SPAM because each group on LinkedIn has its own rules. Read the fine print before posting. Some groups don’t accept any links, others only on certain days. My LinkedIn Group offers 2 Promotional Days per month where I encourage people to post their promotions or latest blog posts.

8. Don’t post your articles on all your groups at the same time

If you do promote and share your blog posts on relevant LinkedIn groups make sure you don’t share them on all the groups at the same time. Most likely you have several groups in common with your connections, and so if you post your blog on 10 different groups, and your connections are also members of these 10 groups, they will see you 10 times in their news feed, with the same blog post update ! That might annoy one or the other…

9. Don’t abuse endorsements

Finally, don’t abuse endorsements. Yes, it’s easy to get into the ‘clicking’ game. But only endorse people that you really know and who you think have the skills that you’re endorsing them for. And don’t endorse and then ask to endorse you back – unless of course you know the person really well and have worked together before.

In a recent Hangout on Air, Greg Cooper, my Bristol based colleague and I discussed exactly this topic. Reserve 30 minutes of your time tonight to watch the replay of our discussion.

3 thoughts on “9 tips for improving your LinkedIn Etiquette”

  1. Martin Lindeskog

    Sarah: I will go through your e-book, LinkedIn Success Recipe. I wonder what kind of ingredients you will have in this referral marketing and career network dish! 😉

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