At this point in the social media world, it is clear that LinkedIn is a heavy hitter when it comes to effective communications. People feel that LinkedIn is a very powerful channel for business; however, not everyone uses it effectively.
LinkedIn as a business card exchange
There are many people who subscribe to the school of thought that says that quantity rules. The more people who want to connect with you on LinkedIn, the better. Those people feel that everyone is worth the connection. This philosophy also believes that if you have so many LinkedIn connections, you are bound to eventually do business with some of those people. One thing that is for sure is that no matter what, you should have a presence on LinkedIn.
People who believe in this philosophy are more discriminating about who they choose to accept into their LinkedIn community. People who think in this way feel that there may be negative consequences if you choose anyone and everyone to be connected with you on LinkedIn. One of the biggest issues is regarding time. Everyone is so busy managing their businesses and their lives. The last thing that they want to do is waste time interacting with people in a fruitless relationship.
Let’s take a closer look at both schools of thought so that you can make an informed decision about how you want to approach your LinkedIn connections.
The issues in the eyes of people who choose quality over quantity
The following are potential issues from the perspective of people who don’t accept LinkedIn connections solely on the basis of numbers.
- The fear that low-quality connections may say or do something to damage their reputation or relationship with other high-quality connections. From their perspective, their connections on LinkedIn should never be chosen randomly. They feel that it is just too risky.
- They are protective of the people whom they have chosen to connect with. They feel the need to shelter them from people who may be questionable.
- These people covet confidence. They feel that it is wrong to reveal information that has been given to them in confidence. This puts them in an uncomfortable position. The last thing that they wish to do is to endanger any of the relationships that are important to them.
- Smaller, high-quality relationships are more meaningful than a large number of relationships. In addition to that aspect of it, it is also much easier to manage and maintain relationships with a smaller number of people than a larger one.
- Connections should not be made until after an actual relationship has been firmly established. True relationships require trust and honesty. From the perspective of people who choose quality over quantity, they are very careful before they say yes.
The issues in the eyes of people who choose quantity over quality
- Those people are not overly concerned with protecting other people. They can certainly take care of themselves. They are secure enough with their own reputation to feel that nothing (and nobody) can affect it. If anything happens, they feel that their network of connections will shelter them.
- Imposters are not an issue for them. Proper etiquette is being used at all times and thus, expect the same behavior from everyone else. If anything questionable or unethical happens, they will simply not connect with that person after that.
- Sharing information is a positive thing. It is understood that there is some control over the information. You only allow people to see your information if you choose to do so.
- With regard to connecting to people, they don’t feel that this is in any way a bad thing. They feel that if you connect with someone, you will start to establish a relationship and, after all, that is exactly what social media is all about. Connecting with people is the only way that you will be able to eventually do business with them.
- When it comes to the size of their networking community, they don’t feel the need to choose between large and small. They have a smaller, intimate group of people with whom they connect regularly. Having the larger group surrounding the smaller group allows them the option of drawing from a substantial pool.
The two schools of thought are very different but neither one is better than the other one. There are advantages to both and negative points to both. You need to look at them and determine which one works best for you and your business. Whichever one you choose, LinkedIn is an amazing social media tool for business and is well worth your investment of time and effort. You should consider LinkedIn your most important professional media channel. People who have a presence there are serious about making high-quality connections that will help them to succeed in business. So, jump in and start connecting.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.