LinkedIn Tip #6
Don’t let social networking take over your life. Some people become so involved in their online presence that they forget how to connect with people in person and often let their other real-life relationships and responsibilities slide. Once you have a complete LinkedIn profile created, and an initial presence established (in a few groups, on Answers, etc), I recommend that you try to spend no more than one hour a day total on your social networking activities. If you’re not careful when you go to a site like LinkedIn, you can easily become distracted and end up losing track of all kinds of precious time.
LinkedIn Tip #7
Remember that phone calls and in-person visits are still an important part of doing business. Since I use LinkedIn for a lot of my follow-up activities, I often initiate requests to get together via their messaging tool, but then try to finalize things via phone or a text. It recently took four LinkedIn messages with a direct connection to determine when and then where to meet for coffee, and if she had just picked up the phone and called me, the decision would have been made in only a few seconds.
LinkedIn Tip #8
I believe most of us all know this by now, but it’s worth repeating; think before you post. Things you put online can and often will come back to haunt you. Any articles you share, comments you post or updates you write are public and since many LinkedIn relationships are based mostly online, people form all sorts of opinions about you by what you post. It’s best to assume that you’ll be judged by almost everything you share on social networking sites like LinkedIn, so when in doubt, don’t post.
LinkedIn Tip #9
Go easy on the snark, even if you think the person can take it. The other people reading their updates or posts might draw some conclusions about you that you’d rather they didn’t. I’ve heard of people not getting job referrals because of someone’s impression of them via a few snarky comments they made on the LinkedIn status updates of a mutual contact. Besides, if you are questioning whether your post or comment is appropriate or might irritate someone, ask yourself, would you like it if your prospective clients or employers saw something similar written by one of your so-called friends? If the answer is “no,” then do not post it.
LinkedIn Tip #10
Try to stop obsessing about quantity over quality when it comes to your LinkedIn connections, followers, group members, etc. Be selective about who you accept as a connection on LinkedIn and don’t become what a Business 2.0 article once referred to as a “promiscuous linker.” Get in the habit of checking new contacts out first within LinkedIn or even via resources like Social Mention, Google or Twitter searches. And, personally, I don’t even bother researching folks that don’t take the time to write a personalized note with their invitation to connect, so I typically don’t link to them either.
My advice is to focus the majority of your time on further developing the connections to the people you already know (see my last post) and let them help you grow your social networks by sharing your engaging content and insights with the people they know. That way, you’ll at least have a 1 or 2-degree-away-connection to the new people joining your LinkedIn community and will be able to say you actually “know” the people with whom you’re linked.
Bottom line is, I prefer to use they system in the spirit in which it was intended (LinkedIn still recommends that you don’t link to people you don’t know), and I like being able to recommend or refer all the people with whom I’ve chosen to link. I want my connections to know that they can trust me as well as the quality of my network on LinkedIn.