While social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can be used for both personal and business purposes, LinkedIn is designed strictly for business. Building a large network of LinkedIn connections is imperative for successful LinkedIn marketing. People on LinkedIn expect professionalism all through – from the look of your profile to your engagement with them. So you have pay special attention to setting up your profile, building your LinkedIn network, and interacting with members without damaging your professional reputation. Here are key tips to help you cultivate LinkedIn etiquette and grow your connections the right way:
Have a LinkedIn Profile That Shows Your Business Side
When someone receives your LinkedIn connection request, they will first look at your profile. You need to ensure that your profile reflects your professional side well to make a first impression. Keep the following things in mind while creating your LinkedIn profile
- Write your profile in a way that it clearly shows your business side. Do not stuff your profile with repetitive or irrelevant keywords. Instead, use three or four top keywords that help you show up in search results when people look for exactly what you offer
- Make sure you profile photo has a professional look. A head shot with a clean background, a smile and a clear view of eyes is good. If you are creating a company page, use your business logo
Personalize Your LinkedIn Connection Request
If you send a default connection request with generic message, “I would like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”, it will send a wrong signal that you donâ€™t have the time to send a personal request or that the person you want to form a relationship with is not important enough to send a personalized request. So, personalize each connection request by specifying how you know the person to whom you are sending the request. Explain why that person should connect with you in the ‘Personal Note’ section â€“ this very important to connect with the people you have never met.
If you send too many invites that make people click on either Report Spam or I Don’t Know This Person, it will put you in LinkedIn Jail. If this happens, you would have to enter an email address for prospects in any future LinkedIn invites you send, and this will restrict your ability to expand your network.
Ask for Endorsements from People Who Know You
You can ask for endorsements from people who know you well to show others about your skills and knowledge about the service that you provide. LinkedIn endorsements are also the best option to show someone that you notice and value their skills and knowledge in their area. Donâ€™t give endorsements with a personal agenda of building your own endorsements by saying “I have endorsed your skills, can you endorse mine?” Instead, give them freely to appreciate and admire their work and if a connection responds, grow your relationship with a personal thank-you message.
Accept and Give Recommendations Cautiously
Recommendations are different from endorsements as they are personal reference and reflect on both parties. Accept recommendation only from people with good reputation. If you accept a recommendation from someone with a poor reputation, it will show up on your profile and link to back to them so that their poor reputation will reflect on you. Do not ask for or accept recommendation from someone you donâ€™t know. Only recommend people whose work you can personally vouch for.
Be Careful About Your Connections’ Contact Information
Be cautious while you send a message to a bunch of people on LinkedIn. As the recipients would be able to see all those to whom you have sent the same message, your connections may be offended that their email address was shared with people they arenâ€™t connected to. So make sure that you have unchecked the option “Allow recipients to see each other’s names and email addresses” before you send a message to several people.
In case, you forgot to uncheck that option, clarify the situation quickly and honestly to the recipients. Send a message to the same recipients with the box unchecked and confess that you made a mistake and assure them you wonâ€™t let it happen again.
Other basic things you can do to grow your network include updating your status constantly and consistently, building connections frequently, being active on LinkedIn and participating in LinkedIn groups.
Constant monitoring is necessary to grow your LinkedIn connections and enhance your LinkedIn marketing efforts. So, it would be better to find an expert who can manage your LinkedIn account to the best advantage of your business. Partnering with a professional SEO company that offers social media optimization solutions could be the ideal option.