LinkedIn Endorsements: Value and etiquette

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has created a new feature called “Endorsements.” Much as Facebook prompts you to rate people and brands, LinkedIn is prompting you to endorse your peers.

But will they be of any real value?

The Skills and Expertise section, which Endrosements is aligned to, is definitely worth completing as it allows you to tag your profile with a list of skills and helps people who are searching for particular specializations. I always recommended clients complete this section as there is a value added.

LinkedIn now prompts users to endorse their connections, asking the question:

“Would you like to endorse Jo Bloggs for social media?” If you click “yes” then LinkedIn will give you another four options of connections to endorse as well. The profile image of users then appear next to the Endorsement of the area of specialization.

Endorsements don’t provide much information — all they really show is that someone took the time to click “yes” when asked if he or she would endorse your work. So for me personally it does not hold the value of someone going to the trouble of writing a personal Recommendation.

This feels like the wrong direction for LinkedIn; I have a slight concern it may lead to ‘Twitter style’ gamification with people just adding as many endorsements as they can to impress; personally I’d rather have a quality over quantity any day!

The only positive thing about getting an Endorsement is if you receive one from a high influencer, otherwise I doubt it will make that much difference to decision making.

THE ETIQUETTE OF ENDORSEMENT

1. Should I thank someone for an Endorsement?
LinkenIn etiquette always used to dictate you respond to anyone who takes an interest and you feel you would like to make a connection with. However, recent up-dates are about LinkedIn participating in the numbers game and chances are if you have many connections this would be time consuming. If this is the case, I would respond to those who you feel give value to your profile as this proffers engagement and dialogue, which is what it’s all about!

2. What should I do if I don’t know the person who has endorsed me?
If you are open to new connections, then you may wish to get in touch. If you prefer to connect only with people you know then you can simply ignore them. However, you may have met this person in the past, but simply can’t remember and lose out on a potentially good connection.

3. Someone has Endorsed me, do they expect me to reciprocate?

This has a similar feel of the ‘give to get’ approach you find some take with Recommendations. My advice would be if you know and value this person, then also give your stamp of approval and support them. You should always thank someone for a genuine Recommendation – these are high value currency on your profile.

…and finally,

We all have our individual reasons for being on LinkedIn and should be following a clear strategy with goals. The golden rules of etiquette should be applied to all of our online communications; this is simply good business practice. We should always be considerate and respectful of differing opinions and respond politely.

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