5 bad LinkedIn habits to break

People are flocking to the professional network, but they’re bringing along behaviors that are better suited to Facebook and Twitter. It’s a different world, folks. No one cares which cartoon villain you are.

LinkedIn recently opened its publishing platform to the outside world.

The platform has people flocking to it in droves, setting up accounts, expanding their connections, and trying to get their content seen.

With everyone’s activity going up, there are a lot of habits that have spilled over from other social networks onto LinkedIn, which has ruffled more than a few feathers.

LinkedIn is a professional networking website. It always has been, and it always will be. It won’t be a place for you to play games, post BuzzFeed articles, or share pictures of a night out with friends.

I’ve been an active LinkedIn user for about five years now. I’ve shared updates, talked with people, made connections, set up meetings, and followed the career trajectory of my associates.

With the influx of the “new” crowd in the last year—especially those who have suddenly realized that LinkedIn is an opportunity for them to network and thrive—they’ve brought with them some oddities that are throwing the network a little out of balance and causing havoc in my newsfeed.

Here’s what you should not be doing on LinkedIn:

1. Rapid posting on LinkedIn. Also knows as ‘spamming the newsfeed .’

In case you haven’t noticed, it was the same person (I’ve blurred out the name and photo of course) that posted these articles—all within a minute of each other. I scrolled through my feed, and this is all I saw. Of course, the first thing I did after this happened was hid this person’s updates from my feed.

LinkedIn is not the place for you to broadcast links to articles that you’ve found interesting one after the other. The kicker was that the author didn’t share his or her thoughts or opinions with the posted article. Spam—that’s what I call it.

2. Participate in spammy comment-bait threads (or post them)

Anyone able to solve the above “equation” is not a genius. Second, having something on LinkedIn which has “if u r” in the text is worrisome. If you’re participating in or endorsing this content, that’s even worse.

Your peers will lose respect for you if you participate in such spammy posts that are just bait for engagement and offer nothing of real value.

Here’s another example:

3. Participate in flame wars

This is a tricky one. LinkedIn is full of discussion, and often you’ll find someone with an opinion who doesn’t align with yours. When expressing your own opinion, do so in a professional manner.

All your contacts will be able to see your activity on posts. If you comment, “like,” or share a piece of content, there’s a good chance it’ll pop up on the feed of someone else, letting them know what your comment was, or what piece of content you’re endorsing. If your words aren’t kind and if you don’t have a professional demeanor while doing so, you could end up in a sticky situation.

4. Auto-post from other social channels to LinkedIn

This is a pet peeve. LinkedIn isn’t Twitter, and you’d do well to remember that. I’ve seen users sync Twitter with LinkedIn, and all their RTs and mentions and responses to tweets show up on LinkedIn. That’s probably the most ridiculous thing you can do. It causes spam and clutters the newsfeed.

If anyone wanted to see your Twitter content, they’d go to your Twitter profile or follow you to do so. Please don’t let it stray onto LinkedIn.

5. Auto-post from an RSS/website feed

I read a lot of content on SocialMediaToday. Does that mean that I set up a tool that auto-shares every single post that’s put up on SocialMediaToday? Absolutely not. Can you imagine the amount of articles that my connections would have to deal with?

I understand (as does everyone else) that you’d like to share content from your blog, your website, or even websites that you follow and endorse. But if you’d like to share an article with your connections—and if you expect them to take time to read it—why don’t you take time to write an introduction to the post, let your connections know why you endorse the article, and why you’d like them to read it?

LinkedIn isn’t a publishing tool or a platform for you to broadcast messages. It’s a networking tool, for you to showcase yourself as a professional and make people want to work with you and value your opinion. It’s not going to happen if you commit the above transgressions.

Avtar Ram Singh is a social media strategist who values good content over all else. A version of this article first appeared on Social Media Today.

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