troubleWhat if you are too busy and hire an admin or assistant to be your social media voice, which means giving him/her your LinkedIn ID and PW?

And that delegate, not meaning to do any harm, knows less that he/she ought to, and asks numerous people to connect to you. Enough of those numerous people click “I don’t know” you and that gets the attention of LinkedIn. LinkedIn then puts you on “invitation restriction” which limits your ability to ask for connections.

This is a real story, as related to me by a good colleague and friend yesterday in a phone call.

{Rod Serling’s voice:} “Welcome to the Twilight Zone.”

Uh oh.

As penance, you will need the email address of the invitee for future connection requests. What a nuisance.

And you have to wait it out, and I don’t know how long that will be until you are reinstated. I believe it is 9 or 12 months.

How to avoid the LinkedIn “invitation restriction” netherworld? Honestly, I don’t know how many times I have advised this:

  • Let’s start with: never, ever, ever giving anyone your LinkedIn ID and PW. I don’t care how busy you are or how well you trust that person. Ok, I feel better having said that…
  • Always know the person you are asking to connect on LinkedIn
  • Speak to them or at least email them to be sure there is mutual interest
  • End the interchange with “I liked the potential opportunities we discussed and soon I will ask you to join my amazing group of professional connections on LinkedIn”
  • Then in your connection request you should reference:
    • how or where you know them,
    • what you discussed, and
    • reiterate how you can help them
  • It can’t hurt to add “we agreed on that phone call on July 9th to connect on LinkedIn.” That gives them context. They may not read your connection request until days or weeks after you sent it

This will jog their memory.

And DEFINITELY avoid at all costs having to agree to LinkedIn’s work around. I think the odds are you will get someone else saying they don’t know you (deservedly or not) and the consequences of the red bold font I highlighted below should scare you:

“We can often lift a restriction after you acknowledge you’ve read some educational information on proper use of our site.

Invitation Restriction

Your account has been restricted because a significant number of LinkedIn users whom you have invited to your network have indicated that they don’t know you. Use of LinkedIn is subject to the terms of our User Agreement, which you have violated. An example of the violation includes breach of Section 10.2.5, LinkedIn User DOs & DON’Ts.

“As a condition to access LinkedIn, you agree to this User Agreement and to strictly observe the following DOs and DON’Ts:

Don’t – Invite people with whom you have no prior relationship to join your network.”

By selecting the checkbox and clicking “OK” you agree you will comply with all the terms of the User Agreement. If you violate the agreement, you acknowledge that your account may remain permanently restricted or be closed by LinkedIn.”

If the invitation restriction has happened to you, you have some ‘splaining to do to LinkedIn. You can ask them really nicely to reinstate you via a message to the Help Desk. (More like beg.)

Just try to use my ideas above to keep yourself off the s***list at LinkedIn if you have not already landed there….be a thoughtful, professional citizen.