Linkedin is a great networking tool, and many are utilising its power to manage communications with their contacts. I make extensive use of Linkedin and was dismayed last year to have managed to have my account suspended – and I’m a paying customer! A quick email to their Customer Service department resolved the issue in under 24 hours which was a relief as I have heard of people waiting two weeks to reach a resolution.
Below are a list of activities you could participate in that may lead to you having your Linkedin account suspended, I’ve highlighted the one that I fell foul of:
- Extraneous information in your profile name – Your profile name is intended to be your name only, extra information is not permitted. No-nos may include an email address, LION (meaning “Linkedin Open Networker”), telephone number, showing your number of connections such as (2500+), or anything that is not considered part of your name. The only obvious exception to this is letters that represent your qualifications, however since your qualifications appear in your Linkedin profile, it is an unnecessary addition. You will see lots of accounts that breach these rules, but it is still a breach and Linkedin may well shut down such accounts at any time without warning.
- Using a company name in place of a profile name – I have seen many profiles on Linkedin that clearly are not the names of individuals but are that of companies. I’m not sure why people resort to this practice as it is very easy to setup your company or business on Linkedin, it may well be down to a lack of understanding. However, this does breach the rules and falls under the same category as point 1. Don’t do it!
- Creating a fake profile – Linkedin are eager to shut down fake profiles and it doesn’t really need much explanation why. There is no legitimate reason for needing more than one profile and what someone may wish to do with a fake one is questionable.
- Clicking on too many links/buttons – I fell fowl of this one. I spent approximately 30 minutes cleaning up my Linkedin mailbox, which resulted in quite a large number of clicks in a relatively short amount of time. My account was suspended while I was using it without notice! I have since discovered other people have succumbed to a similar fate for such innocent activities as categorising/tagging their contacts. Too many clicks in too short a time period will get your account blocked. You have been warned!
- Sending too many messages to your contacts – Yes, believe it or not, sending out a Linkedin message to all your contacts could get classified as spamming. People claim to have had their accounts suspended for such a reason. It is not clear whether this is in response to a complaint, or whether there is some sort of threshold that triggers it. It seems bizarre that sending messages to your contacts could be considered spamming, but it is, so be careful!
- Objectional material – This is an obvious one, but goes without saying. If you post objectionable or offensive material anywhere on Linkedin, it will likely lead to complaints and your account will be suspended.
You might think I’ve missed an obvious one here – DNKs. Linkedin says you should only connect with people you know, and when anyone receives a connection request, they do have an option of selecting “I do not know this person”, commonly referred to as DNK. Receive too many of these over a certain period of time and Linkedin are alerted, the exact numbers are not published. However, this does not automatically mean your account will be suspended, instead you may have extra restrictions imposed on your invitations making it more difficult to invite people to connect who Linkedin believe you may not know.
That’s enough for now. Continue to use Linkedin within the limits of their Terms & Conditions (of course we have all read them!), and you should be able to continue building your network and doing Linked up business.