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I was asked to endorse someone on LinkedIn recently. Nothing unusual in that. However, I’d never worked with them, in any capacity, never known anyone who had worked with them. I’d only exchanged one or two tweets…. I also vaguely remember my suggestion, some time ago, to help strengthen his LinkedIn profile was not well received!

So, you can imagine the slightly flippant recommendation I was thinking of writing. However, I behaved myself and wrote a polite little note back explaining that as I had never worked with him, I didn’t want to damage either of our credibility by writing him a recommendation.

1: Asking people for recommendations – that you haven’t worked with

Asking people you have never worked with – or even met in person – is a really stupid and desperate thing to do on LinkedIn. (Not mincing my words today!) It stinks of desperation and raises the very real thought that you have potential problems with your current delivery of service. ¬†Recommendations¬†are great (click to read¬†ten things every professional should know about using linkedin?), but not if you’ve no real reason to recommend!

2: Sending Twitter updates to your LinkedIn Status

Another old chestnut is to send all your tweets through to your LinkedIn status. All that does is frustrate your LinkedIn connections who are finding that their LinkedIn wall is filled up with your chit chat on twitter. If you are like me you hide this person’s status update. Which then becomes a permanent change, because who has the time to check back and see if any of the people whose status updates they have hidden has changed their viewing habits? There are better ways to make it easier for people to talk to you on Twitter, than annoying your LinkedIn contacts.

3: Send LinkedIn connections annoying SPAM

A third really stupid thing to do is to treat your LinkedIn connections as an extension of your mailing list. I eventually unconnected myself from a Northern based evangelical new NABO networking group leader, who didn’t seem to understand that when I said I was uncomfortable with Retweeting his NABO tweets, I probably wasn’t going to travel 300 miles to go to the launch and subsequent events. This is probably an extreme example, but on several occasions I’ve connected with someone on LinkedIn and immediately been sent via e-mail or LinkedIn an opportunity to attend their event. I, like many others connect with someone on LinkedIn to build a relationship, not get immediately sold too. Treating your LinkedIn connections as an extension of your mailing list is likely to get you unconnected and possibly reported for Spam. It doesn’t take that many people to report you for Spam before your account gets suspended.

4: Inviting people en-masse to your events

This is similar to my last point. Think before you decide to invite all your LinkedIn connections in a mass message to the latest event you are prompting. This kind of messaging may have the opposite effect to the one you intended – irritation. You may be amused that in the past I’ve been ‘personally’ invited to a 2-day launch event in Auckland, by a so called networking expert (well OK, if you pay the air fare and appearance fee! ), a beginners workshop on social media taking place over 100 miles away…

What other stupid things have you seen people do on LinkedIn?