Time for me to vent. Over the last 6 months I have received multiple daily requests to connect on LinkedIn. Many may think that’s good. Its annoying to me.
It is a bit rich for someone who calls themself a social media expert to express irritation at being asked to connect by a lot of people on a social channel. It’s the wrong use of LinkedIn to take a scatter gun approach to making connections. People should exercise more thought before sending out 5 – 10 requests a day building their network.
You can see in many of the LinkedIn requests that there has either been a lot of articles and books read on the subject or a bright spark has pushed the idea. As with so many things, it is quality not quantity that counts. It feels like there is a competition going on to get the most connections or a need to show off ‘look at how big my contact list is’.
I get it – LinkedIn is much about lead generation. It lately feels like the social media equivalent of cold calling something I’ve hated being on either end of. I dislike making the calls as I get nervous trying to get past the gatekeeper and hate receiving the calls as its my idea of hell.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought this to a head. Lockdown made us spend even more time online and it looks like many have only just discovered LinkedIn’s potential power. The sadder side of it though is the sheer need to be doing whatever you can to keep business moving and afloat. Reaching out and contacting people who have the most tenuous relevance has become the new norm because of those reasons.
Let me state for the record I really like LinkedIn and think it can be a hugely valuable channel for business. I also like to think of myself as an outgoing, upbeat and avid networker who likes connecting. I just want to make sure that there is a real reason to connect such as we’ve met, we used to work together or will be working together or someone has introduced us.
Being in the same industry is an okay opener but not enough for me. If you took that logic exponentially in either marketing or property, two of my featured industries, I’d have potentially millions of connections. Sounds fun to brag about but I’d never see the wood for the trees. I’d be cross-eyed looking through my timeline. Telling me you love my profile or that we have a lot of connections in common is good but that’s not enough for me.
Please don’t be offended when I don’t reply to your connection message or accept the request (I doubt you will even realise). I’m really not fussy but I do generally want to have worked with you, went to school with you, met you somewhere or had some direct two-way communication with you prior to requesting to connect. That’s my criteria. Wanting just to expand your network is just not enough I’m afraid. Rant over.