Social media can be a very effective way of selling and promoting yourself. It can also be an effective way to ruin how people perceive you and how you come across as a person.
LinkedIn is purely for professional and business use, so keep in mind these following guidelines for your LinkedIn profile.
- Keep your profile professional. If you want to be taken seriously and not be rejected at every request you make, then be professional at all times. Even freelance bloggers that may write about crazy things as a career will keep their profile well-presented and appropriate.
- Have a profile picture. It’s a little weird if you don’t and people are not going to be interested in a faceless profile. It’s also a little lazy!
- Keep your profile updated. If you move on in your career, update your profile. If you have a new achievement that you’d like to share, update your profile!
- Think about the people you want to add to your network and don’t just send out generic ‘I’d like to add you to my network as a professional contact’ invitations. If you want to send somebody a request, think about why and send them a personalised message, but keep it short and to the point.
- Acknowledge your LinkedIn account as of the same importance as your personal email etc. If you get an email through your LinkedIn profile, it could be something of great importance!
- Be hands on with your approach to LinkedIn profile. Search for people with similar interests and goals, or can help you with your goals. Also, introduce people to each other and don’t be self-serving, as people may reciprocate the favour.
- Don’t assume you can set up a profile, make a couple of contacts with people you already kind of know, and expect any business or interest to just come to you. You actually have to do some research and work.
- Don’t use your LinkedIn profile in the same way you might use Facebook or other social media. It’s a little more professional and business orientated and should be treated in that way.
- Don’t expect everybody to use LinkedIn in the same way as you. If you’re on there to make contacts in your chosen career field it doesn’t mean everybody is too. So don’t be offended if you are rejected in any LinkedIn communications you may initiate.
- Don’t send out invitations and messages to people just because they appear to be a good contact to have. You have to WANT them as a contact and know how they may be a positive contact.
- Don’t spam. Do I need to elaborate on this one? Probably not. Just don’t do it, it’s annoying.
- Don’t let your profile just sit there, lonely and boring. Keep it updated and treat it with a little TLC because LinkedIn is one of the best networking tools available! Use it to your advantage. Don’t see it as a chore that needs keeping on top of.
It would be so easy to go on and on about the do’s and don’ts of social media etiquette, but to be honest there are so many rules and regulations that are dictated to us and to be adhered by us that it can be a little hard to remember! And they are all different for each social media platform!
However, these guidelines are pretty basic and not very hard to understand or stick to, so bear them in mind if you’re a LinkedIn user, or a potential user.
Written by Katy James