LinkedIn can be a strange place. Every single day I ‘connect’ with people I’ve never met and will probably never even speak to. I receive their updates on what word they spotted first in a word search. And of course, this isn’t the only benefit of connecting. I also get lucky enough to receive messages at least once a day asking me to join LinkedIn groups, the occasional message asking when I’m ‘Free to meet up’ and a hell of a lot of offers for help ‘if i ever need anything’. As of yet, I’ve never had to take anyone up on this offer, but I have got some washing up waiting to be done at home..
Post quizzes that aren’t professional or relevant:
The perfect form of procrastination. Shared with others who weren’t trying to avoid working, but thanks to this type of post, now are. These forms of mathematical problems are far from uncommon in my feed. As entertaining as racking my brain for a few moments while I’m scrolling through my feed may be, LinkedIn was actually built for professional purposes. Pop the word search on Facebook so your nan can let you know what word she spotted first, it’s much more suited and I’m sure she’d love it.
Post a lot of personal updates:
I understand that every so often in our lives, something really exciting happens and we can’t wait to share it with as many people as we physically can. Of course not everyone is this open, and some of us prefer to keep our lives to ourselves, but the majority of us are on Social Media for that exact reason. Who needs diaries anymore, right? The odd occasional personal post on LinkedIn is fine in my opinion, I mean yeah it’s supposed to be a professional network, but we’re all still human beings and things like marriage deserved to be shared and celebrated. What you had for breakfast however, isn’t exactly important to anyone. And you can trust me when I say that as lovely as the rant was, nobody on LinkedIn really cared about the traffic you got stuck in this morning.
Send private messages asking to meet up with your connections:
I assume with good intentions, I have had a few messages from connections I’ve never met or spoken to before asking to ‘meet up sometime’. Even though I’m sure this is asked in a friendly way, there’s still the whole ‘Stranger Danger’ side of the internet that in the world of social networking, we sometimes forget about. It’s when online connections that you’ve never spoken to before ask to meet in real life that we start to remember all the headline horror stories. Your connections more than likely don’t know you any better than the people they walk past in a supermarket, so to prevent potentially freaking them out a little, maybe avoid sending out dinner invitations for now.
Post irrelevant content:
Another not-so great thing that I often see people do on LinkedIn is post content that’s not at all relevant or professional. As previously mentioned, LinkedIn is the Social Network for professionals, meaning all content should also be professional (notice the repetition of the word professional). Your audience on LinkedIn are people who you have connected with, or who have connected with you because you work in similar industries or have an interest in each other’s area of work. In my opinion, this should really mean that when you post an update, it should be relevant to what you do. I wouldn’t send a connection request to a plumber, because i wanted to see updates about journalism. It’s just not how it works..
These are just a few of the things that I would recommend against doing on LinkedIn if you want to stay within the etiquette and keep your connections happy. I’m no LinkedIn expert, but these really are things that I see my connections ranting about the most, and I completely agree with them.
It’s not however, all negative over there. There are a lot of things that are well appreciated on LinkedIn.
- Build your network with experts and professionals in your industry
- Engage with your connections
- Share content that is relevant to your job, and therefore audience
- Send connection requests to people you don’t know, if you feel they will benefit your network
- Endorse/recommend your connections from your legitimate experience