LinkedIn is like choosing the right cutlery at a formal dinner. Whether you’re operating business pages, seeking followers, or job networking — rules of engagement matter.
LinkedIn’s undeclared digital manners aren’t much different from those you’d follow at networking events offline — treat others the way you’d want to be treated, endorse your friends, and avoid being a pest. Still, you are navigating a digital space and there are specific platform functions you should be aware of. How you treat and choose automated response options, the photo you choose, or how quickly you accept invitations affects how your connections and followers perceive you.
How do you know if you’re a polite LinkedIn user? We’ve compiled the best practices and guidelines to follow.
“InMail response rate is three times higher than a regular email. People are far more willing to respond to a LinkedIn InMail than just a traditional email. So, if you are going to reach out, InMail beats email.”
It should go without saying, but it’s poor etiquette to bombard your connections with requests, invitations, or content. Most research shows that you should stop trying to contact a person after your follow-up message.
Do your due diligence. Be sure to consult a user’s contact policy indicating how they prefer to connect. From posts to invitations, regardless of what functions you’re using on LinkedIn, you’re almost always safe implementing a “quality over quantity” approach.
For example, you exchange cards with a local business owner who comes in to your restaurant for dinner and you learn that they often book spaces for luncheons or meetings: Go home and invite them to connect to your company page on LinkedIn, but be sure to craft a personal message recounting your meeting.
You might want to use email rather than LinkedIn as your primary form of communication, but connecting on the platform keeps them in your network long after they’ve changed their company or contact details.
Personalize your invitations
It doesn’t matter how many connections you have if you haven’t nurtured any of those relationships over time. Personalizing invitations encourages engagement and reinvigorates past connections.
Experts agree, how fast you accept invitations have an effect on how your connections view your dedication or interest.
Never add your connections to your email marketing list
Just because someone agrees to connect with you on LinkedIn doesn’t give you permission to add their personal contact information to other channels.
Choosing “I don’t know” when someone sends you an invitation hurts their credibility and ability to send invitations in the future. So use it wisely and make sure it’s not somebody you do know going by a different name.
To endorse or not to endorse
LinkedIn Endorsements are peer references or reviews from your current or former colleagues that highlight your performance and achievements. The platform lets endorsers choose from a list of categories that apply to your industry or skillset.
While it’s a feature mostly used by employees looking to showcase their talents, business owners can benefit too by having endorsements such as ‘Business Strategy’ or ‘Financial Planning’ in their profile to boost credibility with potential suppliers or investors.
LinkedIn gives you the option of sending, requesting, or personalizing an endorsement. Sounds great, right? Endorse with care, abusing or neglecting this function may hurt your social standing.
Personalize your recommendations
While you can utilize LinkedIn’s automated endorsement suggestions, these are less valued. Write strong, specific references.
The easiest way to get endorsements is by giving them.
Don’t endorse too much
While it might seem nice to dole out praise, over-endorsing cheapens your reference value and that of the people you’re endorsing.
Update your skills
Many connections will endorse you based on your listed skills, make sure you have relevant skills outlined on your profile.
Don’t be afraid to ask
Don’t be afraid to ask close customers and colleagues for restaurant reviews or positive feedback. While LinkedIn offers an automated request option, it’s important to personalize these requests to get more valuable responses.
Profile etiquette tips to remember
While etiquette is most important for invitations, recommendations, and requests, there are also interface and profile functions you need to keep in mind. Like most social media, LinkedIn is automated to endorse itself with certain pre-clicked options — not all of these serve your credibility. For instance, you don’t want to spam your entire network with a new profile picture or a grammatical correction.
It’s also important to consider the photos you choose and how often you’re posting content on LinkedIn since it’s considered a more professional online setting.
Choose a professional headshot
Don’t promote your own agenda in LinkedIn groups
Turn off “Notify your network” when updating your profile
Don’t post more than once a day
Make your network visible to other users
Consult InMail analytics for better invitation responses
Keep your messages short and to the point
Rewards Network® does not provide tax, legal, or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal, and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.