LinkedIn Promiscuity: Should You Be Selective in Whom You Accept Connections Requests From?

Posted on May 9th 2014

LinkedIn Promiscuity: Should You Be Selective in Whom You Accept Connections Requests From?

Linkedin Chocolates

In short, not really.

While there are a number of elements of LinkedIn that resemble other networks, successful usage of their platform is much different than the others and you most likely will not be posting anything sensitive in nature. You won’t be posting pictures of your summer vacation or what you had for dinner on LinkedIn anytime soon, nor will you be checking into a coffee shop or sharing home décor tips. You will be raising your personal and business’ brand awareness, identifying job candidates and developing high-quality sales leads…if you use their tools right.

I live by the rule that you never know who is connected to whom, so I generally accept all connection requests. Generally speaking, the people that will want to connect with you on LinkedIn are from your industry or a related industry and more likely to be interested in your content. You may not know them, but they may like what you have to say, which will lead to more social shares of your content, better SEO and more web traffic. Think of everyone you connect with as either a potential targeted inbound lead or someone that could indirectly introduce you to one.

On a somewhat rare occasion, you will accept a connection request from someone you don’t know that abuses the relationship and immediately tries to sell you something. The remedy for that situation is simple: disconnect from that person. I can probably count on one hand how many times this has happened to me in all the years that I have been active on LinkedIn.

Note: This post is an excerpt from my new book: Leveling the Playing Field: A Small Business Guide to Generating Leads on LinkedIn. This book is packed with tips and tricks that I’ve picked up during my years of developing digital strategies for companies of all sizes and industries.

Image credit: Nan Palmero via flickr

craigpsmith

Craig Smith

I am a digital marketing strategist by day and also run a little digital marketing blog in my spare time (expandedramblings.com).

My roots lie in both web development and public relations, and I enjoy bridging the gap between the digital and traditional marketing worlds and explaining what new technology and trends mean to businesses.

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Comments

Steve Baldwin
Posted on May 8th 2014 at 2:13PM
I'm reasonably confident that the people who ask to connect with me on LinkedIn are real people, so I'm not very selective. The only people who I don't connect with are people I know from the real world that I really don't want to have anything to do with anymore. But my own LinkedIn network is fairly small (in fact, it's pathetically small) -- I know executives with much larger networks who complain that a fair number of requests are from fake personas. So perhaps one needs to be more selective as one's ostensible influence grows.
Randy Milanovic
Posted on May 8th 2014 at 4:11PM

The challenges I've experienced with accepting "all" conneciton requests include:

  • LinkedIn "lions" that constantly fill your alerts with erroneous flags and your stream with cat images
  • Pitch-happy sales people who don't "get" that your acceptance of their connect request isn't an opt-in approval to spam you with email, phone or 'in"messages
  • People who speak different languages (my fauly, not theirs)

There's also a school of thought that believes humans can only effectively handle a couple hundred relationships before the interactions become meaningless. Myself, I'm not so much in that camp, while at the same time, I do acknowledge that the quality of my interactions is much higher with "regulars".