LinkedIn : Connections – who should I connect to?

This post is by Philippa Bowen

 

 

As I work with clients on their social media strategies I often get asked about how to grow their connections on LinkedIn. And who should they connect o? Accept invitations from?

 

Well LinkedIn is very specific in its terms and conditions about why it exists and who you should connect to:

A. Purpose.

The mission of LinkedIn is to connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful. To achieve our Mission, we make services available through our website, mobile applications, and developer platform, to help you, your connections, and millions of other professionals meet, exchange ideas, learn, make deals, find opportunities or employees, work, and make decisions in a network of trusted relationships and groups

 

It also then quite specific in it’s’ usage policy about who you shouldn’t connect to:

Don’t invite people you do not know to join your network;

 

After all its basis is the premise that everyone in the world is only 6 steps removed from any other person.

But more and more people are becoming open networkers (they will connect to anyone), some will connect to anyone they have met even if they don’t know them very well. I’ve even heard a so called social media guru say that he uses his LinkedIn contacts as his CRM. And while the quality vs quantity debate is one that I doubt will ever be resolved, in the end it doesn’t matter; as long as you have a strategy that you’re comfortable with and you stick to that.

And you can have a different strategy for other platforms. Mine is very different for twitter than it is for linked in (which is probably reflected in my follower numbers compared to my connections on LinkedIn) but that’s fine, I know my strategy for each and that’s how I choose who to follow or who to connect with.

So how do you grow your connections? Well, have you connected with everyone on LinkedIn who fits your connection criteria? Do you regularly add new connections as you work on new projects/ meet new people/ as people join LinkedIn? Do you check out the people you may know feature? – It’s certainly thrown up a few people I’m very happy to connect with. Check out the company pages of firms you used to work for, amazing who you find there. Check out who your connections are connected to. If you network in the same places/ work in similar fields then there are more than likely a few people you’ve missed. What about the people you connect with in groups? Again who you add depends on your strategy but with over 100 million members in 200 countries I’m sure you’ll find some people you want to connect with!

 

So whether you go for quality or quantity pick a strategy that will deliver you the results you want. Be great to hear what strategy you pick & why it works for you.

 

 

 

 

Oh! And for those really that interested my strategies are:

On twitter I will  follow back anyone who follows me for a week or so, but anyone who spams me, only sends auto tweets or “motivational” quotes or only RT’s  will be unfollowed very quickly. Otherwise about once a month and use a tool to review anyone who has unfollowed me, or has an inactive account and will take the decision to carry on following or unfollow. I’d rather follow active people that I get value from. It’s not a huge problem to me if they follow me back or not, but I’m always interested to see who they are.

My LinkedIn connections are a much smaller number. They are people that I know in real life (mostly) or have a strong connection with, or have previously worked with. They are my inner circle of contacts that I would recommend to anyone and would be happy to connect with any other of my contacts. So those people who ask to connect because we belong to the same group I may connect with after a while because I have got to know them, understood them and seen how they work and their opinions. The people I’ve never met who ask to connect all get the same answer: no. But I usually send them a note explaining why I won’t connect with them at this time, and thanking them for the invitation because obviously things can change over time.

Written by Philippa Bowen

Philippa is an enperienced business owner who has worked in the private , public & charitable sectors and for large & small businesses. Her passion is helping business owners to get the best from their businesses in the most efficient manner & using social media to do that. You can usually find her on twitter at @philippabowen
or you can contact her via:
www.business-benefits.co.uk
www.socialmedaithatworks.co.uk
07885 610228

One Response to “LinkedIn : Connections – who should I connect to?”

  • Avatar Jen:

    Thank you, Phillipa for a very informative article.

    Just getting my head around social media and really appreciate your wisdom herein.

    All the best

    Jen

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