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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