There are rules (some written and some not) about LinkedIn etiquette for business. Using Groups can be an excellent strategy to connect with colleagues and potential customers. It’s also a way to demonstrate thought leadership. However, some groups are simply a repository for self promotion and inane posts. We suggest culling through groups and selecting only those that create real value. Why waste time and clutter your mind and inbox with useless chatter? Once you’ve narrowed down the list of groups where you find your “peeps,” then follow these simple LinkedIn etiquette rules:
1. Meaningful Discussions Only
Post only discussions that are directly relevant to your LinkedIn for Business goals. Establish the scope of your interactions, focusing on a reasonable number of topics. Going too broad by participating in too many groups will dilute your efforts. Unless you have superhuman time management skills, zero in on the groups worthy of your time and expertise.
2. Add Posts that Invite Conversation
Social media is social. Share your opinion on an interesting industry article but also invite others to join in and share their viewpoint. Blatant self promotion, like only sharing your latest blog posts or whitepapers, is a turn-off and a LinkedIn etiquette faux pas. Many group moderators — especially those who approve posts before making them public – – are deleting spam-like discussions. They also have the power to remove you from the group permanently. They also keep an eye out for multiple postings of the same discussion.
3. Indiscriminate Sharing
When sharing articles and posts from mega-sites like Huffington Post and Mashable, don’t simply say “cool article.” What you share and how you share it says something about you. This LinkedIn etiquette tip is all about adding value. Otherwise, just don’t do it.
4. Post Relevant Open Positions or Job
Have an opening for a virtual assistant position? Great… just don’t post it to a software engineering group. Sharing open jobs is an excellent opportunity to reach out to your network (and expand your reach); do so via a status update or inmails. You want to be a connector (a la Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point), but placement is as important as your message.
5. Listen First Then Contribute
If you visit a group discussion once in a blue moon, then it’s of questionable value to you. Using LinkedIn for business means listening and contributing to the online conversation. Stand out by being part of the 1% of online users who regularly contribute with meaningful and relevant information. Not ready to contribute, then by all means listen until you’re more comfortable. Once you have a sense of the group tone and topics of interest, jump in.
Witnessed any other LinkedIn etiquette embarrassing moments? Do share!
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