Everyone knows that LinkedIn is a professional networking platform. We also know that it is difficult to keep it that way. As I have been thinking about this concept I have seen some trends in the kinds of people using LinkedIn. I have taken the liberty of giving them some titles.
Do you see yourself in any of them?
The Connector (It's All About The Numbers Baby)
These people often have LION in their profile. They will connect with anyone and everyone regardless of business or personal connection. They connect and then make no personal contact with you and do not truly connect. If you are going to take the time to connect, then make a personal connection at some level. That is what networking is truly about.
Looking for Love In All the Wrong Places (Desperate Dude)
Sorry I don't mean to be sexist here. These are typically men but don't have to be. They search for attractive females and comment on their photos about how beautiful they are or asking to meet them. Often they send inappropriate personal messages to them. There is really nothing to say here other than, use Tinder or some dating service if you are looking for that type of connection. This is not a hook up site.
The Exhibitionist (No One Wants To See That)
This person's profile picture shows more skin than clothes. Yes there are the rare profiles that are swim suit models or artists. But most of them are more interested in getting attention from their profile picture than actually conducting business or networking. Again, respect yourself enough and act professionally enough to be respected or you will have "Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places" knocking on your door.
The Letch (Creepy)
This person is painfully obvious. When they see a profile picture of an attractive woman, usually The Exhibitionist, but not always they make comments like, "You're hot", "Wow", "Amazing", and others that I won't put in print and honestly should never be said about a woman. I should be fair and say women may do the same to a man, but honestly I have never seen it on LinkedIn.
The Sales Stalker (Annoying, Really Annoying)
You connect with someone and you immediately get their email pitch. This is not about networking at all. Networking is a two way street, not a one way street. It is rare for it to be ok and generally turns people off. If you are trying to make a sales connection, I would recommend the InMail feature to reach out. Networking and sales, although related are two different things. Networking applies something mutually beneficial and sales starts as a one sided relationship.
The LinkedIn Bully (AKA You Can't Have An Opinion)
This is the one that makes me the most frustrated. These people write a post expressing their opinion about something. When you write a blog post or a LinkedIn post, I would think you would want people to read it and to comment on it. Of course it opens you up to differing opinions. As soon as someone has a negative opinion about a post, even if it is written politely, the author jumps them.
Or this can be the person that doesn't believe that everyone should have an opinion. They jump in with their definitive, blahblahblah sucks - period. They are a 'you're wrong', 'end of discussion', 'you are a moron for having an opinion' kind of person.
I have even seen blog writers that block from commenting if someone wants to post an idea that is contrary to theirs. Sigh.
These people post the most random, confusing and nonsense posts. I have a friend on LinkedIn that was virtually attacked by a woman basically claiming that his posts were not genuine and that he did not worship the same God as she did. It was random, and very bizarre. I was curious about her so I looked at a few of her posts and there is something very wrong there. More about her in a later post.
DON'T PERPETUATE THE MADNESS!
Here is one key that people don't think about. When someone posts something on LinkedIn that shouldn't be there, say a picture of someone in their underwear, commenting on it, just spreads the post/photo further into your network. When you comment, all your connections get notified that you commented or liked it.
There is a block feature. Call up the users profile and use the down arrow by the Connect/InMail/Message blue button. Block the person or unfollow if you want to stay connected but don't want to see their updates.
Don't engage, don't try to tell them it doesn't belong there. Guess what. They know it doesn't belong there. AND what they are doing is working. They are getting connections and views on their profile. For what purpose? I don't know. I will post more later on what I call 'Anti-Attraction Marketing'
I block the original poster. If someone makes a comment that is out of line in my opinion I sometimes block them.
It is MY LinkedIn. I control what I see and what I don't. Getting into an argument with someone about what they post is ridiculous and counterproductive!
If you find something particularly offensive you can hide it or even report it.
If you got to the end of this, congratulations. There is still one more important point to make.
What your employees post on LinkedIn (we won't discuss other social media here) reflects on your company and your brand.
Shamless pitch here - we will be offering a LinkedIn seminar for sales "professionals" soon. Be sure to send me a message if you want an invitation.
What other LinkedIn Players have you seen?
Lori Hanken has been in sales and marketing for over 30 years. She is passionate about service and providing value to her vendors, prospects and clients. Lori is currently co-owner of Total Displays with her husband David. They help people look great at events, trade shows, in retail, museums and develop long partnerships with customers and suppliers. If you would like to learn more, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with her on LinkedIn here. I am an open networker, but I don't network just for numbers. Expect a message from me when we connect.