Could Etiquette Improve Your LinkedIn Success?

Could Etiquette Improve Your LinkedIn Success?

Etiquette is a specific code of polite behaviour, applicable in specific social situations. Consequently, it varies depending on the occasion. Even though it may sound like an old-fashioned notion, etiquette is alive and well today and it is also applicable in the digital as well as physical realm.

Nigel Cliffe, LinkedIn specialist with Value Exchange, talks us through the etiquette of using this dynamic, business-focused social platform.


Being Social About Business

“Social media etiquette can be complicated anyway, and with LinkedIn you have to factor in the fact that it is about business. Remember, that if you want to engage successfully with others on LinkedIn, you need to get to grips with the dos and don’ts of using it.”

Firstly, it matters that users have a properly put-together profile, including a proper head shot.

“If you appear anonymous on your profile, why should anyone wish to connect with you?”

A good LinkedIn portrait will include a head shot, along with a headline and a summary, all of which should:

  • Reflect who you are in business terms
  • Work to help attract others
  • Give you credibility

“Holiday snaps will give a false impression, as will pictures of pets, or parties. Your portrait doesn’t have to be overly formal, but keep it businesslike.”


Connecting and Engaging

When making a connection request on LinkedIn, it can be enormously helpful to personalise it.

“If you explain who you are, or remind people of where you’ve met, you’re going to increase your chances of connecting, and of further engagement.”

An intended recipient can click the I don’t know this person button. LinkedIn may penalise you, by restricting your account, if you generate enough of these responses.

“If someone connects with you and joins your network, follow up with a welcome message.”


“LinkedIn is not a numbers game, it’s about nurturing quality contacts to help grow your business”

Nigel Cliffe, Value Exchange


It is also the polite thing to do to respond to messages and requests promptly.

“Post regularly, keeping your contacts updated of your current status, but keep your posts relevant to your engagement objectives.”

“Avoid self-serving content. If you want to engage others, think about what will be useful or interesting for them.”

When commenting on other users’ posts, avoid being critical or negative.


“It can be too easy to get yourself into heated debates. Words posted online, hastily in anger, can come back to bite you”

Nigel Cliffe, Value Exchange


It also makes sense to check regularly for comments, and to reply to them. This can help build a dialogue with connections.

“Request specific, meaningful endorsements and recommendations from people you know, and give them to others who you know too.”

“Ultimately, LinkedIn etiquette is all about putting others first, and thinking in terms of what will be best for your target audience.”

“People are looking for solutions and answers,” Nigel concludes. “That’s where your LinkedIn activity should be focused.”

To discover how to use LinkedIn to generate more and better opportunities for business growth and development, please call Value Exchange on 0333 323 8275.

Alternatively, find out about their regular LinkedIn bootcamps here.


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