Proper LinkedIn Etiquettes

by Uche Onegeria 28 Feb , 2016  

I do not know how to subtly work this into a post but I think there are some concerns that need to be addressed while users interact with each other on LinkedIn. Personally, LinkedIn is on a different pedestal from its other social media counterparts like Facebook, Twitter etc. I do not know if I am being too conservative, given that I also exercise a lot of restraints on the other social media platforms but with LinkedIn, I ramp that up to a level 8 out of 10 (if not 10).

I looked into LinkedIn’s “About us” page and here is what they have:

About Us
Welcome to LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network with more than 400 million members in 200 countries and territories around the globe.

Our mission is simple: To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. When you join LinkedIn, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

The first answer from my Google search (search keywords “LinkedIn use”) says this:

LinkedIn is a business-focused social networking site that launched in 2003. Its main purpose is to help people network professionally. The basic service is free.” said Mind tools.

These reaffirmed my original understanding on proper LinkedIn etiquettes which albeit unspoken (given that it is obvious), still affects some users. In the world of today, with so many social media platforms, the lines could blur for some users which makes them use all platforms in the same manner. Well, I got news for you buddy, “LinkedIn is different”.
The following highlights are based on my observations. In the users’ defense, they probably never deemed their actions as inappropriate.

Are you single?
Unless this is part of highly relevant professional research article, or I am in some hiring process, I do not want anyone asking me this question on LinkedIn.

Can I have your phone number?
What is inappropriate in this case is when you give your number, and the user (who barely knew you in college and just reconnected with online) calls to ask you out on a date. Best part is that he is not even in the country.

You did not wish me “Happy Val’s day” back?
No, I will not wish you “Happy Val’s day” back. You get enough of that on twitter and facebook.
Anything exciting happening this week/end?

What state are you from?


Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

How old are you?

Are you sure you do not want to register on a dating website?

Do you know why we have twitter or Instagram or Facebook wars (when users go at each other) but never LinkedIn wars? LinkedIn is sacredly for business purposes (networking, job prospects, employment portfolios etc.). There is a reason why top LinkedIn Influencers are not bothered about the size of their followers. They are busy and savvy businessmen/women who are focused on so much more than celebrating 10 million followers. The LinkedIn mindset is different. It is highly professional.

Can personal relationships be developed on LinkedIn? Of course, it is possible. I know many people who have reconnected with users and become great friends. However, the key word here is “develop”. It does not happen overnight. You still have to exercise caution and maintain a certain level of professionalism until users feel comfortable to move beyond that.

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