How to Communicate Effectively on LinkedIn

How to Communicate Effectively on LinkedIn

Ensure your LinkedIn messages, comments and updates stand out from the crowd.

Communicating on LinkedIn is easy, but you’ll look like a pro – and reap the benefits – when you follow our etiquette tips for messaging, commenting and posting updates.

1. Be Authentic
Communicate on LinkedIn the same way you would in professional interactions outside of LinkedIn. No need to be overly formal or change your style – be real, be you but be professional.

2. Customize Your Connection Requests
Instead of using the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message, tailor each request. Remind him or her about where you met, or explain why you want to connect. They’ll be more likely to respond.

3. Be Responsive
Reply within a few days to connection requests, personal messages or comments on group discussions you post. Stay on top of your LinkedIn inbox! This will keep you top-of-mind with people and opportunities.

4. Research Before Reaching Out
Review a person’s profile before contacting him or her on LinkedIn. You’ll make a stronger connection by highlighting things you have in common or specific aspects of their experience you want to discuss.

5. Be Targeted and Personalized
Stay away from stuff like “Hi everyone – I’m sorry for the mass message!” Your connections are more likely to respond to personalized messages. If you do want to announce something to all of your connections at once, use a status update instead.

6. Be Careful with Introductions
If you’re asked for an introduction to someone in your network, remember that your reputation is on the line. Unless you’re confident in recommending someone or you know the connection well, it’s okay to politely refuse.

7. Keep It Short and Sweet
In today’s busy world, no one wants to read long, dense paragraphs on their computer or smartphone. Keep your profile summary, messages, group discussion postings and recommendations clear and to the point.

8. Proofread
Remember that everything you post on LinkedIn could be seen by a wide audience (even private messages could be forwarded or saved). Represent yourself well by double-checking spelling, grammar, style and tone.

9. Give More Than You Take
Balance your needs on LinkedIn with those of your connections. In addition to updating your own status and asking for help or connections, try commenting on other people’s updates and helping with their requests.

10. Always Say Thank You
When someone answers a question you’ve posted, provides an introduction, suggests a job or otherwise helps you on LinkedIn, send him or her a thank-you message. The golden rule applies online just as much as it does in person.

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