As a social media platform for professionals and business people, LinkedIn has strict rules and regulations that users need to follow. Professional conduct and behavior are not only expected but also required. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if a certain behavior would be frowned upon in an actual working environment, then it would not be appropriate on LinkedIn either.
Those who are using LinkedIn for the purposes of lead generation will want to avoid any form of violation as it could cause their account to get restricted. A LinkedIn account restriction will significantly hinder anyone’s social selling efforts. It is best to stay on your best behavior when on LinkedIn.
‘LinkedIn jail’ is just a term for having a restriction on one’s account placed by LinkedIn. It is a serious matter as it can have a negative impact on a user’s lead generation and career progress. The good news is that a restriction can be lifted—but the best strategy is still to avoid ending up there in the first place.
How to Stay Out of LinkedIn Jail
The first rule is to always be respectful in every interaction with other LinkedIn members. Other than that, it’s all about avoiding certain violations that can break LinkedIn’s Professional Community Policies. All users are expected to abide by them.
Oftentimes, an account gets restricted when LinkedIn detects inappropriate or illegal activity on the account. It may be because LinkedIn has detected that the account has been hacked or compromised. Sometimes it is simply because the name used in the account profile is in violation of the User Agreement. Repetitive abusive behavior on the account will also get it restricted.
Sometimes the inappropriate content will be removed by LinkedIn, while in other cases the account itself may be restricted or banned. It usually depends on the type of violation. While restrictions can be lifted by LinkedIn, more severe violations can lead to the account getting restricted indefinitely.
The Dos and Don’ts of LinkedIn
LinkedIn has created their own list of dos and don’ts that outline the type of behavior they expect from users. This is part of their User Agreement. When using LinkedIn, people are expected to provide accurate and updated information about themselves and their business, to make sure that your employment is maintained as up-to-date as possible. Users need to comply with all applicable laws like privacy laws, intellectual property laws, anti-spam laws, export control laws, tax laws, and regulatory requirements.
It is also important for users to have their real name on their profile. Do not add special characters or contact information in the name field, as it breaks LinkedIn’s User Agreement and also looks unprofessional. More importantly, do not create a false identity on LinkedIn. Fake accounts are not tolerated on LinkedIn.
Lastly, make sure to use the site as a business social media platform rather than a dating site or somewhere to collect people’s private info. Users are expected to utilize the platform in a professional manner. This is just a general overview of LinkedIn’s expectations of your use and behavior on the social networking platform.
How to Get Out of LinkedIn Jail
If you see the words: “We’ve Restricted Your Account Temporarily” on your page, it can be quite intimidating. But it is important to read the message from LinkedIn to get a better understanding of why the account was restricted.
Sometimes it will say: “It appears you’re visiting a very high number of pages on LinkedIn with supernatural frequency.”
This appears when LinkedIn detects the use of third-party applications. If this is the case, discontinue using the application immediately. When this happens, LinkedIn’s recommendation is the following:
“If your account has been temporarily suspended for excessive page requests, it will automatically be re-enabled at the time specified on the suspension notification. Please be aware that repeated suspensions may result in a permanent restriction of your LinkedIn account.”
In other cases, your account may be restricted because of an excessive number of people choosing ‘I don’t know this person’ after ignoring your invitation. This may cause LinkedIn to restrict you from sending invitations to others, removing your ability to connect with prospects and expand your network.
To avoid this, always send a friendly and personalized connection request so that it does not come across as spam. Well-written and personalized messages are more likely to be received positively. Even if they don’t accept the invite, they will not report the sender.
There are other reasons why accounts end up in LinkedIn jail. Most of the time, sending a message to LinkedIn and appealing your case will restore your account. But the main thing to remember is that there is still hope even if you do find yourself in LinkedIn jail.