Thursday, January 23, 2014

Four ways YOU are killing LinkedIn

LinkedIn has always been the social media platform of choice for business professionals. This platform's users are often those who wouldn't ever consider composing a tweet or making a like. Yet, there are an over-abundance of short sighted users who are accelerating the death nail for this platform. How? Here are the four ways you (or too many others) are killing LinkedIn:

In order for me to be a LION; let’s connect. – More connections aren't better connections. While I consider myself a LinkedIn Open Networker, I don't consider myself another just number. Read my profile and have a reason you want to connect. Any reason is better than none whatsoever.

I’ll just connect and hope you figure out a reason why this matters. Of the almost 5,000 people with whom I’m connected, the overwhelming of them have just asked me to add them and stopped there. If you want to add me in a professional context, have a professional reason to do so. Do you want to use my service, have me as a mentor, get a quote or bid, or looking for something I have or do? If so, let's connect. If not, let's not.

You don’t have a clue what I do, but I want for you to rate me. – The ultimate LinkedIn Spam. People who have connected with you want for you to rate them, and you know their name and picture … and that’s about it. Stop signing up for this junk generating spam source. Tell your ego that it needs to ask people who can say real things versus bland, self-serving praise.

I do this for a living, and you should switch to me. This request is all features and little to no benefits. I usually get it as requests for using offshore talent, IT services, app development and other emerging technologies. It’s usually a short and succinct note that has all the pizazz of a classified ad. It is usually devoid of any reasons to do business, short of 'here I am.'

LinkedIn is a tool that can expand relationships beyond markets, industries and buying patterns. Done right, it opens doors. Done wrong, it generates annoyance, suspicion and apathy.  Don't kill the platform because you think it’s like other platforms  – Use a professional site in a professional way.