1. Send marketing emails without permission Last week I received an invite to connect with a trainer on LinkedIn. Nothing unusual about that, except that I didn’t know the person. I’m fairly open about connecting with people I don’t know, and have recently got into the good habit of asking them their motivation for connecting with me. I received a message back saying that we probably have complementary skills so worth connecting. So far, so good – but no invite to have a phone call or really kick start the relationship properly. Alarm bells should have started to ring for me here. The next thing I know is I receive marketing from this person inviting me to attend an expensive NLP course which they were advertising. At no point in this process of connecting on LinkedIn had I opted into their marketing list. After sending a message to the trainer explaining why I was disconnecting from them on LinkedIn, I then disconnected. When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you do so with an openness and willingness to start a relationship, NOT to become just a name on a mailing list.
2. Send inappropriate messages about events via LinkedIn I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been sent e-mails about LinkedIn events. Mostly this isn’t a problem, but there are times when I feel that I’ve just become another name on a mailing list. In recent months I’ve been invited to attend a social media training course for beginners at a location over 100 miles away, and my favourite, a business event in New Zealand. Whilst I would love to travel to New Zealand for a holiday, it’s very unlikely that I will go halfway around the world for a business event. (Unless of course I’m being booked as a speaker!) Before you send a message advertising your event to your LinkedIn connections, do carefully consider who from your list is likely to attend such an event as this. Don’t just blanket email all of your connections.
3. Post “sales messages” to groups Many poorly-moderated groups quickly become filled with discussions that are primarily sales messages, which quickly devalue the quality of the posts in the group. Recruiters (my apologies if you personally don’t do this) are renowned for posting up adverts for jobs in groups. Don’t do this – use the jobs part of the group if you want to do it. Unless the group has been set up as an open trading point, don’t post up advertising for your group. If you do post up a blog post, make sure it is actually valuable content rather than a thinly disguised advert for your business.
4. Put all your tweets through your Linkedin status Twitter is not LinkedIn and LinkedIn is not Twitter. Got it? But more importantly, if I’m seeing all your tweets on LinkedIn, the chances are that I’m missing out on other people’s LinkedIn status updates, and even more importantly, am only seeing one side of the conversation.
5. Excessive and regularly auto-tweet on twitter Yes, I am still talking about LinkedIn here. Let me explain. The Twitter application on LinkedIn has a very useful feature where it will dynamically generate a Twitter list of all your Linkedin connections. I like to peruse this list on Twitter regularly. However, sometimes people auto-tweet mindlessly and very rarely engage on Twitter – which means that they fill up this very valuable Twitter list for me. To keep the quality of tweets high on this list, I will often unlink myself with this person on LinkedIn. What are your pet hates of how some people use LinkedIn? Heather Townsend is the author of The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking. and the founder of The Efficiency Coach. Follow her Partnership Potential and Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. Picture source
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