Linking In or Blanking Out? Business Etiquette for LinkedIn Users

I use the social networking site LinkedIn for many reasons. It’s one of those sites that discourages the nuances of risqué photos and unwanted, uninvited posts. LinkedIn is also the place to showcase our talents, network our business services and dock our contacts online. No matter where professions take us, we can easily keep relationships moving along with us.

I get excited when I receive invitations to LinkedIn with others because I like to meet new people. But what really gets my etiquette happiness bursting at the seams is when I receive a request with a message attached. You know from experience that any invitation you receive, be it to a fundraiser, a party or some other event, usually includes a message as to why: “It’s Tiffany’s 40th Birthday” or “Open House for our New Business”, etc…  you get the point. But, oddly, some networkers purposely or mistakenly skip over this nugget of relationship building which could be a decided business advantage.

Since the fun of my business is sprinkling etiquette fairy dust when opportunities arise, I’m compelled to spread some of it today.  LinkedIn Etiquette? Yes, it exists.

  • When you send an invitation, you can build a friendlier connection if you include a message. The message can be a simple introduction or a sincere message as to why you want to connect. Maybe some people don’t attach a message because they don’t know what to say. Rest assured you can make it easier for people to connect with you by letting them know how you met, why you want to connect with them, etc… We already have enough mysteries to solve.
  • Consider including your LinkedIn URL in your email signature line. This makes it easier for people to find you on LinkedIn. Please feel free to link up with me.
  • Be sure to send a “thank you” message to new connections that accept your invitation. And, don’t worry about those who don’t accept. If you haven’t heard back from an invitation request, wait a few weeks and then resend the request. If you still don’t receive a response, move on.
  • In my opinion, writing a LinkedIn recommendation is a gift to someone, not a requirement. We all can mutually benefit each other if we are willing to give to get.  A personal thank you email or handwritten note to the person who writes a glorious recommendation on your behalf wins friends. And, the offer to write one in return for yours is good business.

I hope these etiquette tips support you in some way or at least validate your own etiquette expectations for LinkedIn. I want to build on this etiquette list with your help. Please comment below with your own tips and let’s mutually benefit each other by sprinkling etiquette anywhere and everywhere we can.

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