12 Most Annoying Things People Do On LinkedIn

12 Most Annoying Things People Do On LinkedIn

I have been pretty active on LinkedIn for the past 4 years or so. In fact, I got my last job as a result of my participation in the groups. So, let’s just say I am pretty familiar with the site and can tell you what works and what doesn’t from my perspective anyways (share your own in the comments section please).

While LinkedIn itself may annoy me from time to time with their ‘updates’, there are several things I see members doing that I just don’t understand. While it’s true that some or all may be effective in the short-term, they will not sustain your presence in a very high light for the long one. So here we go with 12 most annoying things people doing on LinkedIn.

1. Request to connect with no message

So LinkedIn gives you a default message: ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network.’ Blah! Shame on them for even giving this much to you and not making you ask me to connect with you and give me a reason why. Please modify this canned message and be personal.

2. Start a discussion with just a link

I see this all…the…time! People starting a message with just a link. So, let me give you a hint about the discussions on LinkedIn, we are not supposed to have to go anywhere else to have a discussion! Yes, give me the link to read more, please, but give me enough to give you my thoughts on your topic and don’t just spam the group and waste our time trying to drive traffic to your site. If it’s that important to create a discussion about then create a discussion, will you?

3. Start a discussion about connecting to each other’s social networks

Bet you have all seen this one, huh? Let’s all connect to each other on Twitter and Facebook blah blah blah. Unfortunately, these discussions get so much response they end up in the Featured or Active discussions for weeks. Yes, I have posted my links there one time or another but guess what? I didn’t get any spike in followers or fans. Please don’t fall for this or start it, I really don’t get the point. Thanks!

4. Posting discussions in other languages

I love that LinkedIn is global and we can communicate with people from all over the globe, but did you know that you don’t have to post your discussion in your native language? Google translate can turn your post into any language but I have to say, and I apologize, but that is extra effort and English is pretty much the common denominator and a lot of people will not translate your discussion.

5. Putting things where they don’t belong – jobs in discussions

We know that darks don’t belong with whites in the laundry and you shouldn’t drink beer before liquor so why are you mixing everything up on LinkedIn? There are job boards for a reason; jobs don’t belong in the discussions area. Have a position available at your company is awesome – yay your hiring – but guess what? That’s not a discussion, sorry, so take it elsewhere. Same with webinars…put them in the events section.

6. Spamming connections with email offers

Ey ye ye ye ye! Just saw Chris Brogan tweet the other day about how his LinkedIn inbox never has anything good in it. Can you relate? Occasionally I will send a message to my connection about something, but I am extremely careful about what I send, how many times I send something and whom I am sending it to. Please don’t spam your connections with stuff that’s irrelevant. If it’s that important for you to send it to all, then make it feel important to us too.

7. Spamming group members and +2 and +3 with product pitches

Even if you are not a direct connection on LinkedIn, as long as you are separated by no more than 3 people and/or share a group, you can send a message to them. This is a little different than #6 because I get these messages that say ‘we are in the xyz group together and love your opinions and o by the way we sell this awesome product so if you or anyone else wants to buy some, let me know.’ Really? Ok, so I have a very negative view of this company and encourage each and every one of you to never ever ever fall for this in the event that maybe it will stop.

8. Posting great content and the link leads to a form

This is just a tease. Seriously. You just bragged about this awesome ebook or whitepaper you have and how great it is and all the good stuff I am going to get out of it and then you send me to a form? It’s not fair! You can generate leads on LinkedIn without teasing us with content. Give us the content and then we will contact you for more. Trust me, we will! That is, if your content is good 😉 .

9. Connecting but not networking

Ok seriously, why bother? Are you playing the numbers game perhaps and just love to see 3000+ connections next to your name? I have an extremely small network on LinkedIn because I know everyone and can proudly boast that we connect in one way or another. I question the intent of someone who takes the trouble to request my connection but then does nothing. Let’s connect and keep connecting over and over again!

10. Link their entire Twitter feed to their status

A couple years ago this feature was enabled that allowed people to link their LinkedIn status to their Twitter feed. What I saw happening was that my status alerts of my connections were just tweets. They immediately lost their value to me. There is a way to link some tweets but not all and I highly encourage you to do the former in lieu of the latter.

11. Don’t have a picture

Unless you are hollow man, the boogeyman or a shadow of yourself, please upload a photo. If you are really that self-conscience, use your logo or a pic of your doggy. I often click on discussions but walk away from commenting because the person who started it has no image. *Apply this rule to any and all social networks you participate in.

12. Join, ask one question and then never come back

LOTS of people do this! It’s mostly recruiters and HR professionals (sorry!) that post jobs or discussions about jobs but I would question how many of LinkedIn’s millions of users actually use the network. Why do you create an account, ask a question and never come back? Did we not help you? Did you not see the value? Was it too overwhelming? Please, tell me because we would love to have you! That is, as long as you agree not to do anything on this list .

Now that that’s off my chest, does anything annoy you on LinkedIn?

Featured image courtesy of tychay licensed via creative commons.

Christina Pappas

Christina Pappas is a Inbound Marketing Professional with a passion for content marketing, lead generation and social media. She is an avid blogger at The Content Cocktail which focuses on how to leverage a vendor agnostic approach to lead generation in order to increase conversions and bottom-line revenue. Christina is a marketing communications and lead generation professional who has spent most of her career at B2B technology companies and in the hospitality industry.

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76 comments
dreamcacther
dreamcacther

Re: Q&A

Some people are not really answering questions. Beware of that some are just there to play a game to earn expertise and some participants are hard on first timers. Don't let it scare you come back and participate however you feel comfortable.

When you post a question you will not see it right away. If you want to see it right away go to "My Q&A" Or go to Q&A homepage and go to "more" You question will appear on top.

Too many post questions twice because of this. It is annoying too.

You really don't have to post your question in multiple section like "Using Linkedin" or " Career". Just post it in one.

Some will tell you that Q&A is not for job search questions, its right on the form for asking questions. Some people will try to make you feel bad for it.

Be prepared for a wide variety of answers. Not everyone is going to understand you.

dreamcacther
dreamcacther

You do have the option to hide other people's updates if it bothers you.

JillThomas
JillThomas

I am social media addict that eventually for efficiency sake had to start doing it for a living. Now I am the Director of New Media for hotel development and management company. First off I love your blog. Just discovered it today cause I have you in a twitter list. I will go right now and disconnect my Twitter stream from my Linked In account. I admit I only go to Linked in when I have a question. Not a platform I spend much time on. As of right now I will answer 2 questions for every one I ask. Thanks.

DotC
DotC

Some combos of the above 12 are really a problem.

• Promoting onesself in a Job page with only a link. Why are you promoting anywhere but Promotions? Isn't that just spamming? Then what is the purpose of it if you never respond, even to people who appreciated your work?

• Posting several links (more than 6) in one day after just joining a group.It may be great content but in the wrong area, like Jobs.

HeatherKrasna
HeatherKrasna

Great post! I think what irks me is folks who send a request to be introduced to someone in my network-- and send a request that is badly written or full of spelling errors, which I can't forward along without risking my own reputation. Or, they want me to recommend them for something, when I hardly know them at all. I don't want to be a hypocrite, because I'm an open networker in general... (mainly because I'm in the business of connecting people, including for global relocation, and have found that open networking is my ticket to doing so). But quality referrals and intros still matter!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

Do you all want to hear what else is really annoying? When people start a discussion and then never come back to join the discussion. #13 Start a discussion and never return again. I am SO blatantly guilty of that and I have an excuse (I am not a fan of excuses but there is a time and a place for just about everything with the exception of an eyeroll). So here goes...I was out of state and had no connection. Now it seems strange that I could even claim this with smartphones, iPads and Wifi in just about every McDonald's but its true. With the exception of trying the hotel lobby's complimentary computer which took about, oh, 20 minutes to not do anything, I was trapped. So here I am and looks like this article struck a nerve and better late than never in my book so I am jumping right into your comments. I am SO happy to see that a lot of you love LinkedIn as I do but get annoyed with some of these things as I do.

Here's to educating people on how to use LinkedIn so that it can continue to be a faciliating place to start and join discussions, meet connect and network with like professionals and promote the heck out of ourselves and our talents.

Dhara Mistry
Dhara Mistry moderator

Couldn't agree more with #10. It's like spamming other's feed...

wadvisor
wadvisor

Some great stuff Christina. Great effort. As someone who has been active on LinkedIn since 2005 your number 9 was the biggest item for me by far(all of them were good just that everyday I get several "connect with me" messages. Once I speak over the phone and met with someone in person, I ask permission to add them. I see a couple of things: what if they dont want to add you? (for whatever reason). They get pretty shocked when I say may i add you on my network of connections? I see it as a 2 way street. Most people just connect and never get to meet or learn about the other person and wonder why their network of 9,000+ connections never offer them anything.

What amazes me is that people are treating FB, Twitter and LinkedIn exactly the same as its all about the connection. "Let's connect" term has got out of control.

We still meet people everyday that have not updated their LinkedIn profile or say, "I am not using it as much as I should".

Take time to help others, build a network, ask some good questions, listen to them and build relationships.

Thanks for your contribution.

Great work!

turnageb
turnageb

A good list, but one quibble: Bob Borson, an HR professional from the UK, has written a couple of articles on the fact that he experimented with custom messages versus the default message when sending requests to connect and found that, surprisingly, the default message has a much higher connection rate. I don't know if there is an explanation for it, and of course some people will see it as cold or impersonal, but if the odds are that you're more likely to get a connection with the "boring" default message, I'd still use that rather than a customized message more likely to be ignored.

AiDBusiness
AiDBusiness

Many on LinkedIn post just enough in their profiles to be listed. In doing so, they forget their manners, as well as their common sense (which, unfortunately, is NOT that common!). Also, many just lack guidance in preparing profiles properly. Just like stereotypical males, driving in unfamiliar locations, they avoid stopping to ask for directions.

All of this provides opportunities for those of us engaged in local internet marketing to provide guidance toward more effective use of internet media. For myself and for others in internet marketing, I thank the LinkedIn offenders for hanging out their shingles that advertise the fact that they don't know what they're doing in the Internet.

MeghanMBiro
MeghanMBiro

I can safely say being in the business of recruiting talent that this made me laugh out loud. #3 - most people just assume I'm always in hiring mode/I have the secret link into companies. Sometimes this is true of course but it's not the wisest approach to spam me on Linkedin. How about we develop a rapport first? Just an idea. Wink. Rest assured, there exist select recruiters who are annoyed by many aspects of LinkedIn too. I'm one of these people. Quality trumps quantity.

Enjoyed this. I feel better after venting here!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@DotC Definately some spammy stuff going on! On your second point, I cant help but nod my head. Its as if the person just woke up, found LinkedIn, signed up and shared everything they ever created. This is great and I am glad people are joining the network and contributing but they are missing the whole point which is to discuss, collaborate and network. Hope we can get LI back to a place where people want to spend their time!

Thanks for your comment!

prosperitygal
prosperitygal

@HeatherKrasna I see this mentioned and yet wonder maybe the solution is for us to post a note on our profile how we will connect and give introductions. Because frankly none of us has the time to guess and ask 100 times over, what's your policy.

(Note to self go add to my linkedin profile how I connect and give introductions.)

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@HeatherKrasna That is a great annoyance to add to the list! I have asked people for referrals but I am extremely cautious about who I ask. I will always ask the person what their relationship is to the person I want to be introduced to and that usually will tell me whether I can ask or not. Don't just open an email with 'I saw you are connected to so and so, can you introduce me?' Especially if you have not connected in awhile. Appreciate great networking myself and know the power of it firsthand but there are limits!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@Dhara Mistry Hi Dhara,

I completely agree! I thought this was a great idea for a milisecond and then I saw the tweet's coming through from status updates. Completely defeated the purpose of them for me. The important stuff was now hidden by tweets. And if you are connected with someone that tweets a lot, well just forget about looking at them altogether. Thanks for your comment!

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@wadvisor Simple answer: its simply a numbers game for a lot of people. I can see on Twitter and Facebook the appeal of getting the number 'up' but LinkedIn makes much less sense to me. Unless that is, you have every intention of exercising #6 and spamming your large 'database'.

I am a HUGE fan of collaboration, so I will often use my network is to ask an opinion or for help with something. I think its such a compliment when people ask for my help or advice and I love to return the favor (and get some great ideas and insight at the same time).

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment and glad you enjoyed the article!

prosperitygal
prosperitygal

@turnageb I agree with Christina if you are not taking extra effort to tell me who and why you want to connect with me then you are disrespecting my time.

BTW it is Bill Boorman, not Bob Borson and I and other have doubted the accuracy of the self study because we cannot view the data.

What works for one person does not mean it is a blanket for everyone.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@turnageb Would love to see that research! Do you have a link you can send me?

I will admit that I accept connections that use the default message but only if I absolutely know them. If it says something like 'we belong to this group here together', the chances of connecting drop off considerably. Do people find it risky not to accept the connection? Do you think you will be blackballed or your discussion ignored next time around because you didnt connect? While I did focus on the fact that we should not be sending these, how do we feel about accepting them?

Thanks for your comment and love that you use a customized message!

indentmarketing
indentmarketing

@turnageb agree with you on that one - I can see why the default message would get a better response - I think if people see a personal message they somehow feel as though they need to reply with something. Whereas the default message allows them simply to hit the 'accept' button and move on and not feel as though they need to reply because the sender sent them a personal message. Weird as it sounds - I think that's perhaps the reason behind it.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@AiDBusiness Yes but there are LinkedIn offenders and there are bots. Any thoughts on how to distinguish the two? About 2 years ago, someone brought these bots to my attention. They have pictures, job histories, they start discussions and they are fake. FAKE!

But we are talking about the real profiles here and the fact that they are incomplete. LinkedIn even provides a progress bar (top right of your profile while in edit mode) to let you know how much more you should add. Here is a tip and I am not the first to say it, but think of your profile on LinkedIn like your resume. Its a professional network and yes its cute that you have 3 kids and a dog, but say something about your career aspirations, what you have done and what you would like to do. And yes, please use good grammar and spell check (I love that LinkedIn has added this to the discussions!!)

Thanks for your comment! There is a lot of work to be done by professionals like yourself!

DotC
DotC

@MeghanMBiro I went along a couple of times but then I just didn't see the point. I get enough odd requests to add to my business twitter account as it is. And I don't get qualified leads or potential employers from them. Like you said, quantity.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@MeghanMBiro LinkedIn has become quite the rage for recruiters and for people looking for new opportunities (I thought it may have been heading in that direction as a primary focus about a year ago but doesn't seem to be the case). I wil say that the best advice for people on LinkedIn that are unemployed or employed unhappily is to let the recruiter find you. That's just my thoughts. Seeking out and attempting to connect with every recruiter is not going to be very helpful in the end and yes, as you said, you are not always in 'hiring mode or know the secret to get into every company'.

Glad you enjoyed the post! I felt much better myself after writing it!

DotC
DotC

@C_Pappas Oh, they aren't even sharing their own stuff. Just other inspirational or instructional articles from other people. Like I said, good content, I just don't care for someone who joins a group then floods the group 6 times in one day.

prosperitygal
prosperitygal

@C_Pappas@wadvisor What I learned from Viveka Von Rosen the @linkedinexpert is when you have a larger base of connections you will have a higher visibility and be able to have more 2nd and 3rd level connections you can reach out to. I always ask hmm "wonder how this could be of benefit" and if I do not know I ask a professional, teach me.

seomilwaukee
seomilwaukee

@danielnewmanuv
NO it has it's place for sure. Like twitter just haven't used it personally, outside of client work or testing, very much.

DotC
DotC

@C_Pappas@turnageb Like someone else said, Facebook and myspace (if you still use it) are for casual interactions. I am on LinkedIn to find a job and to learn things about my industry.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@indentmarketing It shouldn't be seen as a message that needs to be replied to in my point of view. It should be crafted in such a way that identifies the person and gives a short reason why a connection makes sense. Like this:

'Hey Mary, we met last week at the MarketingProfs Forum in Boston and loved our conversation about blah blah. Let's connect here on LinkedIn as another way to communicate and keep in touch.'

There. Done. No need to reply. Just a 'o ya, Mary, she was cool and very smart', hit Connect and your done.

dreamcacther
dreamcacther

@C_Pappas@AiDBusiness Are you saying there is a spell check now? I'm on LinkedIn every day I have not seen this yet. Ihave been asking for this a long time

DotC
DotC

@C_Pappas Flagging is a wonderful tool to take back the power from the bots. If you think somebot or some person is being inappropriate, don't wait for a moderator to flag them. Anyone can do it.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@prosperitygal I know exactly how that could benefit someone. If you are linked to someone in a group or via 1st, 2nd or 3rd connection, you can send them messages without actually connecting to them. Sales people like this for obvious reasons.

wadvisor
wadvisor

@prosperitygal@C_Pappas@linkedinexpert Of course I am not going to question the LinkedIn expert as she is right. However, a larger base works for everyone but is not a suitable solution for specific industries. A couple of reasons: 1) Specially for someone that doesn't target every industry or every person (Net worth of $25M+ and companies doing $25M+ in sales narrows the crowd significantly). 2) Also focusing in specific niches within those industries 3) If your 1st degree connections have 17,000+ connections each you really need 400 1st degree connections to get a large visibility for 2nd and 3rd. So I still don't see the need of connecting to everyone I meet. Unless I missed something here.

DotC
DotC

@C_Pappas@indentmarketing I don't mind needing to reply. Especially if I decide not to add them. It is professional to say why you don't want to connect. 90% of my connections are people I have worked with or are in my industry.

I don't need connections that I don't know.

C_Pappas
C_Pappas

@dreamcacther Just tried it and its no longer there. My guess is that is was on a previous version and during an upgrade, it was removed. Thought it was pretty awesome that discussions were spellchecked. They need to bring that back!

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