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Eight LinkedIn No-Nos

Linkedin image Esther Vargas
Image credit: Esther Vargas

With around 400 million users, 2 million groups and over 4 million company pages, LinkedIn is a very powerful tool with which to connect with other professionals and potential customers.

But whilst LinkedIn may be a social media site, it’s far removed from Facebook and Twitter – in terms of the necessary etiquette, at least. Most users take LinkedIn very seriously, so make sure you’re interacting with them appropriately by avoiding these eight LinkedIn no-nos on your personal and business pages.

1. Poor spelling and grammar

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It’s probably safest to think of your LinkedIn page and posts as a CV or showcase for your business. Your presentation and communication need to be faultless – this is a not a platform on which you can get away with sloppy mistakes and put it down to character count or your phone’s auto-correct.

2. Spying without speaking

No one likes a lurker, especially a repeat offender. On LinkedIn people are notified when you view their profile, so if you find yourself frequently checking someone’s page just bear in mind that they almost certainly know you’re doing it. If you’re going to check someone’s profile repeatedly for some reason, drop them a message and say hi. There is another way around this – you can make your LinkedIn profile anonymous so nobody will know it’s you.

3. Adding strangers as connections

This isn’t the done thing on LinkedIn, unless you’re a recruiter with a specific role in mind for the person. LinkedIn actively discourages adding strangers and even has a filter in place for sending invites which forces you to stipulate how you know the person. If you have a solid reason to want to connect that doesn’t involve boosting your number of connections, drop the person a message first to be polite.

4. Not adding strangers as connections – but asking them to introduce you to one of their connections!

You wouldn’t do this in person at a networking event, it’s just rude – don’t expect a reply.

5. Sharing your content in unrelated groups

Sharing content in groups is a great way to increase the reach of your content, but only when the audience of that group matches your target audience. Joining related groups and sharing articles other members will find interesting is a good tactic – spamming them is not.

6. Non-stop salesy posts

LinkedIn is primarily a place to network, connect and recruit. Unless you’re plugging job roles, a constant stream of salesy posts is not going to go down well on your newsfeed.

7. Inappropriate profile pictures

No selfies, no coupled up photos, no clubbing photos. Contacts on here don’t need to be kept up to date with every night out, holiday or hairstyle change. In fact on LinkedIn changing your profile picture all the time can look unprofessional. Don’t worry if you don’t have one of you at the office, just pick a good clear profile picture where you look reasonably smart and stick with that.

The same goes for your company page if you have one – make sure it’s branded properly, with appropriate imagery.

8. Not giving professional recommendations

A really nice feature of LinkedIn is the ability to give other people references on their pages. It lets you show people how much you enjoyed working with them, whether they were a co-worker or a client. If someone has taken the time to recommend you, it’s nice to either return the favour or pay it forward instead – but only recommend someone you are qualified to endorse in a professional capacity, as a former co-worker, manager, client or supplier.

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