Everyone loves LinkedIn right? It’s THE place to do business and EVERY business person should be on it right? LinkedIn positions itself as the “professional  networking site” but are the professionals using it really just killing the experience dead?

Recently Chris Brogan, author, journalist, marketing consultant, and frequent speaker about social media marketing, closed his LinkedIn account stating that he got little business from it. Also Scott Stratten, author of “Unmarketing, Stop Marketing, Start Engaging”, recently wrote a piece highlighting five things that he hates about the site. So not everyone is in love with LinkedIn.

Looking at Scott’s list of five irritations, I can totally relate to every one of them and I’m sure you can too. Here’s my quick rundown of his irks.

  1. Warm Spam – Why do people send you a message right after accepting a connection request trying to sell? I’ve connected with you to get to know you better, I’m not yet ready to buy from you unless I ask.
  2. Blank connection requests – Fine if you know the person WELL already, but why should I connect with a stranger who can’t even be bothered to introduce themselves.
  3. Twitter + LinkedIn = Litter – I’ve never understood why people link their Twitter and LinkedIn accounts yet almost everyone does it. STOP IT, please. I want you to share information about your industry with me, show me how knowledgeable you are. I don’t want to see your Foursquare check-ins.
  4. Drive by Group Articles – Cool, post a link to an article that might be a bit controversial, don’t post a link to your own website.
  5. Endorsing Strangers – Really? If you do this then you really are just undermining the whole thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to do a Chris Brogan, I do actually like LinkedIn. I agree that it has huge potential, but like someone said it’s a bit like my Grandma. I know she’s there but I don’t visit as often as I should. When I do go, I always learn something and have a great time.

LinkedIn is the “professional” network, let’s start using it in a “professional” manner. Treat it exactly the same way you would treat a face-to-face networking event and we ALL might just get a bit more from it.

Right, I’m off to visit my Granny.

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