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1. Send them marketing e-mails without permission

Last week I received an invite to connect with a trainer on LinkedIn. Nothing unusual about that – however, I did not know the person. I’m fairly open about connecting with people I don’t know, and have recently got into the good habit of asking them their motivation for connecting with me. I received a message back saying that we probably have complementary skills so worth connecting. So far, so good – but no invite to have a phone call or really kick start the relationship properly. Alarm bells should have started to ring for me here… the next thing I know is I receive some marketing from this person inviting me to attend an expensive NLP course which they were advertising. At no point in this process of connecting on LinkedIn had I opted into their marketing list. After sending a message to the trainer explaining why I was disconnecting from them on LinkedIn, I then disconnected.

When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you do so with an openness and willingness to start a relationship, NOT to become just a name on a mailing list.

2. Send them inappropriate messages about events via LinkedIn

I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been sent e-mails about LinkedIn events. Mostly this is not a problem… however, there are times when I feel that I have just become another name on a mailing list. In recent months I have been invited to attend, a social media training course for beginners at a location over 100 miles away… and my favourite, a business event in New Zealand – whilst I would love to travel to New Zealand for a holiday, it is very unlikely that I will go halfway around the world for a business event. (Unless of course I am being booked as a speaker…) Before you send a message advertising your event to your LinkedIn connections, do carefully consider who from your list is likely to attend such an event as this. Don’t just blanket e-mail the whole of your e-mail connections.

3. Post ‘sales messages’ to groups

Many poorly moderated groups quickly become filled with discussions posted which are primarily sales messages, which quickly devalue the quality of the posts in the group. Recruiters (my apologies if you personally don’t do this) are renowned for posting up adverts for jobs in groups. Don’t do this – or use the jobs part of the group if you want to do it. Unless the group has been set up as an open trading point, then don’t post up advertising for your group. If you do post up a blog post, make sure it is actually ‘valuable content’ rather than a thinly disguised advert for your business.

4. Put all your tweets through your Linkedin status

Twitter is not LinkedIn and LinkedIn is not Twitter – OK? But more importantly if I am seeing all your tweets on LinkedIn, I am missing out on other people’s LinkedIn status updates, and even more importantly, only seeing one side of the conversation.

5. Excessive and regularly auto-tweet on twitter

Yes, I am still talking about LinkedIn here. Let me explain. The Twitter application on LinkedIn has a very useful feature where it will dynamically generate a twitter list of all your Linkedin connections. I like to peruse this list on twitter regularly. However, sometimes people auto-tweet mindlessly and very rarely engage on twitter – which means that they fill up this very valuable twitter list for me. To keep the quality of tweets high on this list, I will often unlink myself with this person on LinkedIn.

What are your pet hates with how some people use LinkedIn?