Don’t let an unmannerly act of unprofessionalism cost you the job of your dreams.
That said, when you do become active, don’t become annoying. LinkedIn is not the place to join a group simply to overwhelm people with your views. If and when you witness such improper LinkedIn behavior, I am a firm believer in confronting the person. The groups on LinkedIn are there to share advice and news--not to fight and argue. Leave that for a rogue page on Facebook. As my good friend Ron Burgundy from Anchor Man says, on LinkedIn you should “Keep it classy.”
Tip #3: Message with a Purpose
If there is one thing that bothers me the most about social media, it’s that people are so surprised when they are contacted. It’s called social networking! You don’t have to have a Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn page--it’s not like paying taxes. Having a social media profile is optional, so don’t be so alarmed when someone reaches out to you. And when someone messages you, look at it as a sign of goodwill and even flattery.
If someone contacts you, regardless of whether you want to “connect” or “do business,” it’s always proper to reply. I mean, who are you fooling by ignoring the message? I know I sent it, and you know you got it, so just write back--even if it’s just briefly.
For example, here is a friendly message with purpose that I sent to someone in what I’ll call a “higher authority” position: “Dear Jack, I came across your page through a common connection and would love to hear more about the company’s work in the Maryland area. Can we chat for a bit?”
Jack did not respond and I knew he got my message because he is active on LinkedIn. It would have been easy for him to send a quick, friendly reply saying he was busy. In business, you never know who will end up bein in a position to help you one day, so it doesn’t pay to ignore people just because you don’t think they have anything to offer—that decision could come back and bite you. Plus, you just never know what someone has to offer and what they can bring to the table. If someone contacts you, I recommend hearing them out. And at least write them back—that’s called having good manners.
Do you have a great story about how you witnessed improper manners on LinkedIn? Post them on my Modern Manners Guy Facebook page so we can all hear the details. As always, if you have another manners question, I’m look forward to hearing from you so drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. As well, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT. And of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips.