LinkedIn Etiquette TipsThe rules of social media are still evolving, so it’s likely you have some questions around the etiquette ofusing LinkedIn. Follow these tips to make sure you’re keeping your virtual elbows off the table.1. Use “real world” judgment. Quite simply, be polite and treat others as you hope to be treated. If you wouldn’t do it in person, don’t do it on LinkedIn!2. Say thank you.If someone takes the time to write a recommendation, share a job lead or forward an introduction, be sure to send a thank you reply. Gratitude is always appreciated, especially in the often-impersonal world of online communications.3. Customize every connection request you send. LinkedIn provides a basic message, “Id like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” but you’ll likely get a better response rate if you personalize each request. Include a brief self-introand an explanation of why you’d like to connect.4. Don’t ask for too much. If you’re a job seeker, it’s okay to ask for advice but not for someone to get you a job. If you’re looking for clients, it’s okay to describe your services but not to opt someone in to your e-newsletter. In general, establish a genuine connection before making any specific requests.5. Follow-up = yes. Pestering = no.If you don’t receive a response to a connection request or other message, it’s okay to follow up with a “gentle reminder” InMail to restate your desire to connect. If that doesn’t work, it’s best to move on to people who are more interested or responsive. As in real life, you can’t force someone to be your friend.6. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. You’re under no obligation to accept any connection request you receive, even if you know the person. Your LinkedIn network is yours to curate as you wish. When you “Archive,”which essentially means you’re ignoring or rejecting a request, the other person won’t receive a message. You can always reconsider later if you want to.7. You have the right to ask questions of potential connections.If you see a request from someone you don’t know, you can choose to ask for more information. For instance, “Can you remind me how we know each other?” or “Can you let me know why you’d like to connect?” If the person is really interested in connecting, he or she will write back with more information. If you never hear from the person again, that person probably wouldn’t have been a valuable contact anyway.8. It’s okay to remove connections.If you accept a connection request and change your mind later, you can “unconnect” from someone using LinkedIn’s Remove Connections feature. The person will not be alerted. Of course, if that person looks through his or her contacts or attempts to send you a message, you will no longer be shown as a 1st-degree connection.9. Don’t overpromote yourself or your business. LinkedIn was built on the idea of trusted professional relationships, not self-promotion, so make sure that you use the site as much to help your contacts as you hope to be helped. This means: commenting on other people’s status updates as much as you post your own, congratulating other people on their success as much as you promote your own, writing recommendations for others as much as you request them for yourself and commenting on as many Group discussions as you start yourself.10. Don’t be a spammer.When you do have something purely promotional you’d like to share, such as announcing a job search or publicizingan event you’re coordinating, send the announcement to a targeted list of people in your network that you think would be truly interested and/or post the announcement in the appropriate location in Groups -- the “Promotions” tab -- where people expect to find such information. As your grandmother always said, a place for everything and everything in its place.