The easy answer is it depends on what you are doing. If you are searching for connections you know, you probably can’t use it too much but if you are posting status updates 8-10 times a day you run the risk of being viewed as a scammer or nuisance to your followers.
At a minimum, you need to respond to messages and invites every day or two.
LinkedIn messages are much like an email, but sent through the LinkedIn interface to your LinkedIn “inbox for messages”, and LinkedIn invitations are sent to your LinkedIn “inbox for invitations” so you must be logged in to LinkedIn to see them and respond. LinkedIn helps by sending you an email every time someone sends you a LinkedIn message or an invitation. The LinkedIn emails have a link to take you to LinkedIn but you must log in to LinkedIn to reply or accept.
A word of caution about accepting ‘any’ LinkedIn invitation – You need a strategy that describes who you want as connections. If you don’t recognize the person, look at their profile to see who they are by reading their summary, experience, and what groups they have joined. If their goals and vision doesn’t match yours, you can ignore or reply without accepting and ask them things like what drew them to your profile and why they want to be connected. Making an informed decision will help keep your network relevant to your own mission in life.
The Suggested LinkedIn Daily Dose:
In addition to a timely reply to messages and invitations, scanning through your network “Updates” (on your home page) keeps you informed what your connections are up to, and who their new connections are. You can find new ‘target’ connections from your network’s new connections. If you don’t know them, or share a group with them, you can ask your connection to ‘introduce’ you. If you share a group, follow their discussions. Adding valuable input to discussions will get you noticed (beware, poor input will too).
See what new groups your connections have joined to see if they fit your strategy. Review the discussions in your own groups (daily for the strategic ones, weekly for others) and comment on at least one or two a week.
See who has viewed your profile. Not only does it tell you how much of a draw your profile and headline have, you can find people that would be great contacts.
Scan the “People You May Know” at the top right of your LinkedIn home page every time you log in or go back to the home page. LinkedIn suggests people from similar employers, backgrounds and those that have common connections. Clicking on the “See more>>” at the bottom of the People You May Know section will help you find people that you can connect with.
The Discouraged LinkedIn activities:
What activities would turn you off if your connections participated in them? Here’s a list of mine:
- Sending LinkedIn ‘canned’ invitations. Add a personal note to every invitation telling the person how they will know you or why you want to be connected. It adds credibility to your invitations and increases your chance of acceptance.
- Posting the exact same discussion in multiple groups on the same day. If I have my group email update set to daily, it can quickly fill up my inbox. It tells me the poster might only be looking for attention and does not intend to add value to the group.
- Posting 8-10 updates in a row. It’s good to be busy, but if you post lots of updates (including likes, comments, and shares) you will fill up my update screen and all I’ll see is your activity. While I may like you, I want to see updates from my entire network without waiting for more updates to load. Posting lots of updates at one time might also tell me you don’t have much to do today.
- Asking for recommendations from people who don’t really know you. A valuable LinkedIn recommendation will come from someone that knows you personally or has experienced your ministry or used your services. If you ask for recommendations from everyone you know in one day, all your recommendations will show dates very close to each other revealing a mass request. The best way is to send recommendations to 2-3 of your contacts every week, when they receive them, they will be pleasantly surprised and LinkedIn asks them if they would like to recommend you.
- Posting aggressive, abusive, or insensitive comments in discussions. Realize that anything you post can be seen and shared with anyone else at any time. Inappropriate comments have a way of coming back at wrong times.
Be kind, be personable, and pay it ahead is a great LinkedIn strategy for success.