5 wrong ways to use LinkedIn

LinkedIn can be invaluable when it comes to building connections that could grow your business, further your career and more. However, if you abuse the platform, you will lose connections. Avoid these mistakes:

Asking the wrong people for introductions. If you barely know someone, don’t ask the person to introduce you to someone else. And don’t expect entry-level people to offer you an “in” with executives.

Requesting that strangers endorse your skills. People should only endorse your skills if they have first-hand knowledge that you excel in that area.

Reaching out to random connections for job search help. Just because you happen to know someone in an organization, industry or similar role doesn’t mean you should ask for help finding a job or landing an interview. If you don’t have something to offer, don’t ask for favors.

Sharing inappropriate opinions or comments. LinkedIn is a professional networking platform. It’s best to save your controversial opinions about politics, religion, people or businesses for one of the other social media websites. Otherwise, you risk alienating people you may want or need to do business with at some point. Additionally, don’t leave nasty or rude comments on other users’ updates and blog posts.

Copy other users’ blog posts. If you see a topic you like, don’t just regurgitate it. Instead, expand on it, add your own reaction, and link to the original piece. It’s a great way to build connections with influencers.

— Adapted from “Ten Ways to Make Yourself Unpopular on LinkedIn,” Liz Ryan, Forbes, www.forbes.com.