Published on August 27, 2012
How to Communicate Effectively on LinkedInWhen you communicate on LinkedIn, do you achieve the results you want? Follow these 10 tipsto ensure your messages, comments and updates truly stand out from the crowd.1. Be authentic.First and foremost, alwayscommunicate on LinkedIn the same way you do in your professional interactions outside of LinkedIn. There’s no need to be overly formal or change your style -- you’ll get the best results when you “sound” the same online and offline.2. Be responsive.Do your best to reply within a few days to any connection requests, personal messages or comments on group discussions you post.Besides being polite, this ensures you’ll still be top-of-mind with the person who reached out and better able to capitalize on any opportunities.3. Research before reaching out. Thoroughly review a person’s LinkedIn profile before contacting him or her on LinkedIn. This will allow you to make a stronger connection right from the start by highlighting things you have in common or aspects of the person’s experience that relate to the topic you’d like to discuss.4. Customize your connection requests.Instead of using the generic “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message, take the time to tailor each request, reminding the person of where you met or explaining why you want to connect (e.g., “Our students and alumni have a great track record of employment at your company). People are more likely to accept a connection request that is personal and specific.5. Avoid “Dear Occupant” syndrome. “Hi everyone – I’m sorry for the mass message!” is not the most effective way to win friends and influence people. Your LinkedIn connections are much more likely to respond to personalized messages, especially when you are asking for help or sharing important news. If you do want to announce information in a mass way, opt for a status update instead.6. Be careful with introductions. If someone asks you for an introduction to a person in your network, think twice before making the connection. Remember that your reputation is on the line. Unless you’re totally confident in recommending someone, it’s okay to politely refuse.7. Keep it short and sweet.In today’s super busy world, no one wants to read long, dense paragraphs on their computer or smartphone screen. Keep your profile summary, messages, group discussion postings and recommendations as concise as possible.8. Proofread. Remember that everything you post on LinkedIn could be seen by a wide audience (even private messages could be forwarded or printed out). Keep your professional reputation intact by double-checking everything for spelling, grammar, style and tone.9. Give more than you take.Be careful to balance your needs on LinkedIn with those of your connections. In addition to updating your own status and asking for help or connections, make sure you are commenting on other people’s updates and helping with their requests.10. Always say thank you.Whenever someone answers a question you’ve posted, provided an introduction or otherwise helped you on LinkedIn, take the time to send this person a thank you message. The golden rule applies online just as much as it does in person.
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