Are you confident that you know how to use LinkedIn for business? LinkedIn is one social network where little mistakes can directly impact your reputation as a networker and as a business owner.

There are certain unwritten practices of LinkedIn etiquette that should be considered when networking on LinkedIn to build your business or looking for a job.

LinkedIn Etiquette: Here is the compiled ultimate list of LinkedIn dos and don’ts:

1. Personalise All Your Connection Requests

LinkedIn provides the built-in courtesy of a prefabricated connection message. Do not use that message to request connections with your network. Tailored messages make people feel special. It is worth the extra effort to build your network.

Please be sure they know you well enough that they won’t think “Who the hell are you?” when they get your request. Only send connections requests to those who know you.

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2. Have a Professional Profile Image 

Your LinkedIn photo says more about you than nearly everything else in your profile. Do not start connecting with people until you have a professional photo of yourself.

Your network will involuntarily make assumptions and judgments about you based on your profile image.

It may be worth your money to get a professional photo taken if you don’t have one available.

3. Turn Off Notifications When Updating Your Profile: Remember To Turn Them On After 

When you make too many changes in a day to your profile, your profile updates can get a bit annoying for your connections. It is advisable to turn off notifications when doing any profile updating for this reason.

4. Personalise Your Recommendation / Endorsement Requests

If you want to successfully receive recommendations from those who you know, it’s important to provide a personal note telling them what you are looking for in one and always offer to reciprocate when appropriate. This does not mean you tell them what to write in the recommendation. Remember it is what they think of you, not what you want them to think of you.

Not all of your connections will give you a recommendation / endorsement, nor should they. Hand-pick the people in your network with whom you have a good professional relationship.

5. Always Keep it Professional – It is Business Networking 

LinkedIn is a social network platform so do not talk about anything that isn’t relevant to business. It is for professional individuals and people expect everything to be professional at all times.

6. Respond Promptly To Messages – Do Not Send Spammy Messages To Your Connections 

If someone sent you a message and is trying to reach out for whatever reason, there is no excuse not to answer within the next 24 to 48 hours since that message was received. Treat LinkedIn Messages just like emails and respond within a day or two, any later is really not acceptable. If your connection is trying to sell you something you are not interested in, politely decline their offer and ask them not to send you sales messages.

At the same time remember not to pitch by sending spammy, self-serving messages to your connections. Everything must always be positioned for their benefit, not yours.

7. Be Consistent, Post Regularly and Do Not Overdo It

Keep posting updates, sharing links, liking statuses, and connecting with the people you know.  Avoid posting more than two status updates per day on LinkedIn and just do not go overboard.

LinkedIn rewards those who are active. Active LinkedIn members usually get more invitation requests, more opportunities, more leads, and more of influence.

There are many benefits for business owners using LinkedIn. You can benefit from opportunities to engage with others, but when you have poor etiquette it can do you harm. Build a professional and positive impression on LinkedIn following these suggestions of proper etiquette!