Thursday, June 27, 2013

10 essentials of LinkedIn etiquette

By Kevin Allen

This is the second installment of a series in which PR Daily looks at decorum for brands and individuals to employ on various social media channels and platforms. 

LinkedIn has become an extremely powerful social tool in our professional lives. It’s that word—professional—that is the essence of LinkedIn etiquette. Earlier, we pointed out 10 essentials of Twitter etiquette, we do so now for LinkedIn users. 

So whether you’re managing a brand or your own presence on LinkedIn, here are 10 etiquette rules: 

1. Is it LinkedIn or Linkedin? According to the AP Stylebook’s social media guidelines, it’s LinkedIn—with a capital I. It gets confusing because the company’s logo is a lowercase “in,” but until AP tells me to change it, I’m going with LinkedIn—and I encourage you to do the same. 

2. Don’t send a mass request for recommendations and endorsements. If you’re looking for people to recommend you in a public forum, make sure you’re tapping people who are familiar with your work. It helps if they like you, too. Reach out to those people individually and make the request. Rather than saying, “Can you endorse my social media skills?” leave it up to the other person. “Can you take a look at my skills when you have a chance and endorse any you think are appropriate?” is a stronger choice here. Do not give people a deadline for recommending you. I heard of this happening once, and I was appalled. 

3. No personal updates, cat pictures, or “thoughts and prayers.” LinkedIn is a professional networking tool. You wouldn’t walk into an important meeting and announce the hilarious thing your kid said over the weekend. OK, maybe you might, but leave the personal stuff for Facebook. If you feel that it blurs the line between personal and professional, err on the side of caution and don’t post it. It sounds ridiculous, but people can really lose respect for you if you post things that are generally reserved for more informal social media outlets. Although we’re all saddened by the tragic events that took place in (insert location here), LinkedIn just isn’t the forum for sending your thoughts and prayers their way. Those expressions, however benevolent, should stay on Facebook or Twitter. 

4. Funny’s OK; tasteless isn’t. It wouldn’t be outlandish to share an industry-specific meme or a funny post that’s work-related. But if it’s tasteless, controversial, mean-spirited, or negative in tone, stifle it. It’s not worth the risk of offending someone. 


Essentials 5-10 and the complete article

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