In 2013 I wrote about the need for people to protect their own network when using LinkedIn. As social media and its use are now more mature (well maybe a little), LinkedIn has ended up being one of the most successful social media platforms.
Yet within LinkedIn platform there are plenty of abusers (an increasing amount in my view) out there both intentional and inadvertent when it comes to general professional etiquette.
One example: I received an invitation to connect from someone whom I have never met or heard from before. There was no reference to anyone I know in the invitation. Subsequently I took a look at the person’s LinkedIn profile, primarily to see if we had any mutual connections. (Thought – Why do I have to do the work for someone that asked me to connect)? I found that there were several mutual connections with people with whom that I have long professional relationships. So I accepted. Boy was that a mistake.
Within 24 hours I received in my email box (the email associated with LinkedIn), came several messages asking about my company’s need for that person’s services. Given that we had never met, had a conversation or any interaction of any kind, I was taken aback to say the least. Most people (as was I) are aware of people trolling LinkedIn for business. Even with that knowledge I was aggravated by the auto-messages sent by this particular person, which were insistent and constant over several days.
After receiving one particular message I actually sent an email to that person asking that contact with me be ceased and desisted. Crazy right? The reply was ‘sorry and to please excuse if another comes through’. Of course it took only a couple of days for yet another message to come through.
I removed this idiot from my contacts and sent a short, curt message noting the breaking of every professional etiquette rule and how much it will likely hurt future opportunities with prospective clients. I also noted that I was already a lost cause as any future business prospect.
While this was all only a few weeks ago, since that time I’ve received more of these out-of-left field requests to connect. All but one I denied. The only one I accepted was someone who also was connected to a group of professionals I know and respect since I am not looking to close my network and maybe lighting will not strike again. Hopefully.
Be mindful and careful with your LinkedIn contacts and profile these days more than ever. I fear it might get worse before it gets better.