Don't hit return too soon!
On September 1st this year LinkedIn began rolling out a completely re-designed messaging feature on its platform. Their official blog announced it"New Messaging Experience Comes to LinkedIn".
After a few initial glitches and confusion, as expected with most new product features or upgrades, it now seems to be embraced and used more regularly than its previous versions.
In general the messaging on desktop and mobile are a great improvement on what was available previously and I have found real use in being able to have quick back and forth conversations with connections who I am not in touch with any other way, apart from email.
But two messaging features that you want to be very aware of before you start and one piece of professional advice;
1. Hitting Return/Enter
When you go to your messaging page be sure to uncheck the box at the bottom of the conversation box that says "press enter to send". If you don't and are composing a message and then hit enter or return to go to the next line the message automatically sends.
I have had a number of messages from connections with just the line 'Hi Paul' or 'Hello'. One recently had his message set to go to a number of connections and we all got a message saying 'Hello' and then people started to reply asking what this meant and that included everyone in it again. Then the person tried the same again and again and we all had three messages that said 'Hello'.
Yes it's funny but some people on the list got very quickly upset someone important to you and it sends the wrong professional message.
2. No Archives
The old messaging system had the option to archive old messages but LinkedIn has decided to do away with this. Here is a link to their 'wooly' explanation -Finding Previously Archivesd Messages.
Two pieces of advice;
a. Do not click on a message until you are ready to read it, otherwise if you get a lot of messages it may soon be out of sight and out of mind. Message feature does allow you to view just Unread message which is handy.
b. Apply the DDDD rule to your messages to keep the inbox clear.
Do It - take action on the message now. If it takes less than 2 minutes do it.
Delegate It - if its for someone else to take action on pass it on and tell them the action you want them to take.
Defer it - make note that this needs a bit more time, resources or thought and capture this somewhere else, perhaps in your calendar.
Dump it - if its no longer relevant or needed delete it.
3. Stay Professional
Whilst this is a messaging system this is not Facebook and certainly not SnapChat. Use the system for professional communication and keep the tone and application professional.
For some reason LinkedIn has also seen fit to include the use of emojis and also GIF's (moving short videos) Maybe its just me or its generational but really??!!
Think twice about using them, unless it friends. Again its all a reflection of your brand.
For a full explanation of the messaging system you can access LinkedIn's help feature - LinkedIn Messaging.
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