Today I decided to do something very interesting. I took a stroll (one-by-one) through my LinkedIn Connects. It’s amazing what you can learn about how you’re currently using LinkedIn, and it makes you think about your strategy for using other social media tools for staying connected. I was a bit ashamed because I once prided myself on not connecting with people I didn’t really know (not to be mean or anything) because I didn’t see how that would be helpful for others who may be wanting to connect with a LinkedIn Connect of mine.
In other words, how can I really be a catalyst for helping YOU get connected with someone you REALLY need to connect with when I had no influence with that person whatsoever? It’s tough. Many people talk, and some get paid, to teach you how to “USE” LinkedIn for professional purposes, but it’s never worked for me. It really has just become a place-marker for names of people I claim to know.
I don’t want that to be the case. However; I was really disappointed at how many people I had forgotten about, or didn’t know who they were after my LinkedIn stroll today. What’s the purpose of adding names to your LinkedIn — Just because. I need some help answering this question. It’s ridiculous. I started asking myself, do I delete or NOT delete? Well I think there is an OPPORTUNITY here! It’s going to feel really bad when I email someone I’ve forgotten in my LinkedIn to say, “can you remind me of where we met — how I know you?” GOODNESS.
Here’s my opinion– and that’s all it is:
1. The person who you don’t know or have forgotten, or is just as ashamed as you are and doesn’t remember you either (will start viewing your LinkedIn profile, to see if they remember). The numbers on that Flag (in the top right corner) on your LinkedIn landing page will increase exponentially. It’s really hilarious, but not so funny when you think about LinkedIn strategy and its uses.
2. You’re probably not going to get a response AT ALL. This is also very interesting when you know the people in your LinkedIn connects, very well, and they just don’t want to be bothered or they believe you are going to ask them for “A JOB” (not everyone is looking to connect on LinkedIn for a Job, which is why its important to understand what LinkedIn is REALLY used for and how to better understand or reshape its uses). It’s amazing to me.
3. I’m still trying to uncover the usefulness of LinkedIn for me. It is a great place to aggregate all of my connects information and I can see where and what they are doing in their professional lives (growth, change of job function, new opportunities, etc.) I’m really at a loss.
Any experts in the “LinkedIn space” can chime in and help me figure it out. In the meantime, I’ve got to start having some critical conversations with the contacts in my LinkedIn I don’t know or have forgotten. I’ve got to start somewhere. Maybe that’s the challenge for you too. The last resort is to pull the plug,….. Ugh and that’s so awful.
Monique LaRue, Author
Cultivate Critical Connections: A Guide for Creating Genuine Relationships