Now that you have decided to start a LinkedIn account or get your current one in tip-top shape consider the following proper LinkedIn etiquette tips to make it shine.
Be Personal With Connection Requests
Personalize each connection request that you send to others first and foremost. You will most likely get a response and acceptance of your request by reminding the recipients of how you know them, as well as why they may want to connect. This is key when connecting with people you have never met mostly because those on LinkedIn don’t like being asked for connection requests from strangers without a personal message.
Know Who You Ask
Keep in mind if several people respond to your with 'I Don’t Know This Person,' as you could be in jeopardy of getting your account restricted by LinkedIn. If that happens, you may be required to know the email addresses of each person you send future LinkedIn invitations. In the end, this could reduce your chances to connect with prospects and further expand your network.
No Smartphone Apps
Another important tip is to not send requests using apps on mobile devices as doing so makes it easy to send connection requests before having the chance to personalize them.
Offer a Welcome Message
When an invitee accepts an invitation to join your network, go ahead and send them a personalized Welcome Message. Like welcoming someone into your home, you should welcome them into your LinkedIn network. This is an important difference between adding connections to your network and building true relationships.
Don’t treat LinkedIn as a numbers game; instead, create interest among your new connections by reciprocating and showing interest in them.
Like responding to emails, the more prompt you are in responding to a message on LinkedIn the better. Try to at least answer within one to two days but don’t wait for much longer than that to answer a message on LinkedIn.
Make sure you add an appropriate photo on your LinkedIn profile. Don’t forget LinkedIn is a professional business platform and your photograph should be as well. Don’t include anyone else — like cute pet pics — in your photograph.
The LinkedIn profile photo appears in a circle, which should focus on your head – your eyes and a bright smile. Make it a headshot where you are looking at the camera, and be smiling with a good, clean background.
If the photo is unprofessional this could damage your credibility and personal brand, as well as preventing people from connecting with you.
Post Content Often
Posting content regularly on LinkedIn will make you appear more professional and improve your credibility. It can also help keep you on people’s minds and offer the chance for others to engage with you.
Interested prospects can see how active you are via the LinkedIn 'Activity & Articles' section of your profile. To make sure you look active and engaged, post a status update once or twice daily, and let it be something that will interest your target audience. You can further increase your activity level by posting an article once a week on LinkedIn Publisher to make you look like you are an authority on your topic.
Post Useful Content
Be sure to post updates and articles that your connections will find useful. Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn is a platform for business.
Build Your Relationships
Build on LinkedIn relationships through regular engagement. Send congratulatory messages on a new job promotion or other value-based messages when appropriate.
LinkedIn makes suggestions on the notification page of connections with important events that you can engage with. You can also build on relationships by engaging with your connection’s content such as liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts.
Be Front and Center
Stay in the minds of your connections and build on your relationships by sending messages tailored to each contact’s separate needs.
If you come to find content that would be of interest or value to someone specific within your network send it via private message.
Why not introduce your connections to each other? Be a business matchmaker which ultimately will create the Law of Reciprocity meaning they return the practice and introduce you to some of their connections. In the end, this expands your network and offers the chance to support your connections and build on relationships.