As much as LinkedIn truly is a great tool to use, there is not a one size fits all approach.  There are a few practices that you should stay away from on LinkedIn.  While your intentions may be good, your execution is going to drive connections far away.  There is some sort of etiquette that this professional social network demands. 

So, what are the things you should avoid?

Generic Messages

While the sentiment is nice, sending generic messages on LinkedIn is no good.  It’s nice to want send someone a congratulations on a work anniversary or an invitation to connect.  The problem is that 50 other people are doing the exact same thing at the exact same time.  It’s not just that you get lost in the shuffle, but you also come off as not genuine.  Take a few moments and write a little something yourself.  That’s great that you took the time to push a button, but what’s 10 times better is taking the time to go through and actually thank and remember something about them to write.  

Not Responding

Just as frustrating as generic messages, LinkedIn is filled with people trying to connect only to find radio silence at the other end.  Respond to people who are reaching out and trying to connect with you. And do it in the right timeframe or in a timely way.  If someone takes the time to write you congratulations, take the time to personally respond to each one. This is also a great way to stand out in a crowd.  Who do you think will be noticed? The ones who didn’t bother to respond or respond with a generic post or the ones who take the time to connect?

Asking for Endorsements From Strangers

LinkedIn has a hand in this as well.  You will be prompted to ask John Smith to endorse you for XYZ.  You don’t have to do it though.  You don’t have to send that request.  So don’t do it.  If someone doesn’t know you, they should not be endorsing you.  It’s odd to be on the other end and have someone ask for that endorsement as well.  Stick to people who know you well and work with you.  Think of it as a reference.  Would you ask a complete stranger for a reference or to leave a review on you and your business? Definitely not.

Having Connections Follow You Everywhere

Being social is one thing, but bombarding your connections with requests to follow you on every other social platform is a little much.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t ask someone at some point to connect with you on Facebook or someplace similar.  This point goes back to sending generic messages though.  Build up a genuine rapport with a person before asking them to connect with you elsewhere.  And try not to be overzealous and ask them to follow you on every online outlet you’ve ever been on.  It’s a little much.

Forgetting to Update Your Profile

One of the most important of all is forgetting to update your LinkedIn profile.  This is a big necessity.  This is a professional networking site and if your professional profile isn’t up to date or is inaccurate –how are you presenting yourself? What kind of impression are you giving?  How hard are you making it for your connections to find you?

There are probably a million little things that people thing you should stay away from doing on LinkedIn.  What it boils down to though are the top practices that will drive people away from you.  What are your biggest ‘don’ts’ on LinkedIn? What do you think people should consider? Comment below!