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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

LinkedIn Tip # 51 - How should we communicate on LinkedIn?

Did you know that there is such a thing as good LinkedIn Etiquette?

Today when I mention anything about "etiquette" I often get looks...you know...THE LOOKS. Either they have no idea what I am speaking about, or they poo-poo the whole idea of anything that has to do with anything that might be considered proper or courteous to other people.

Usually when we hear anything that mentions etiquette, we immediately think about, "Which fork do I use at a formal dinner table?" However, etiquette applies to most everything we do in life.

Personally, I have experienced some hard lessons learned on this topic of how to communicate on LinkedIn. - Not only on LinkedIn, but all types of online systems.

Each of the platforms we use to connect with people online has its own style of etiquette.
Twitter is viewed as the "coffee shop chatter" where people go to have informal meetings over coffee. These conversations can be short, using hash tags. We only have 147 characters available, so there isn't a lot of flexibility with formalities.

Facebook is viewed as the "Backyard Bar-B-Q". This is more casual and allows for more informal communication...as far as a personal profile is concerned. However the business pages on Facebook still command a more professional formality in our communications. After all, we are looking to show our business in the best possible form, aren't we.

Google+ is similar to Facebook when it comes to how we handle our communications. We have a profile page and a business page, so the same standards apply.

LinkedIn is the most professional platform on the internet, bar none. Everyone here is looking to do business. So, here is the etiquette question: "How would you view someone who treated you professionally, addressing you by name and signing off with their name?"

EG:
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your recent comments.

I agree that we need to be more formal on LinkedIn. Tell me, what are your thoughts around introductions? How would you prefer to be introduced to someone on LinkedIn?

I look forward to your response.

Best,
Christine"

I almost lost two great friendships over a misunderstood online communication. This was because the other person sent me a message that did not address me by name and just bluntly started out with a rant. It came across as very abrasive and gave a totally different meaning to the communication than was intended. I learned from this experience to always be sure to address people by name and give a short opening statement thanking them for connecting, a note they sent me, congratulations, endorsements, etc. Then addressing the topic of discussion in the main body of the message, always remembering to close with a proper signature.

I cannot tell you how many people send messages to me without addressing me by name, and without signing off properly. It makes me have to look twice to see who is sending me the message, especially if it is not in the middle of a chain of communications.

When you are in the middle of a chain of communications scheduling a coffee meeting or a time to chat, you are both usually on the same page, but I usually address them and sign my name at the end.

Here's my humble rule of thumb: "How would I feel if someone sent this message to me on this platform?"

Contact us if you have any questions about your online marketing and branding.


Christine Till
The Marketing Mentress



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