LinkedIn is a powerful tool and not to be overlooked when considering social media platforms. It’s the one social media platform that you should to be on. However it’s not all social and maintaining your profile and connection list credibility is extremely important.
LinkedIn should be authentic.
My personal opinion and advice for LinkedIn is to treat it less like twitter and more like facebook. Where you connect with people you know or have done business with. I personally reserve my “connection membership” to strictly those that I have shaken hands with at some point in my life. That way if someone asks me about a contact then I can honestly say where the connection stems from.
Be leery of those who want to connect that you don’t know.
As you are building your online brand and reputation you will also receive invitations from those you don’t know. Sometimes if there is mutual contacts or circles you may want to connect with them and that’s fine, (although I stick to my shaken hands rule). However Ive experienced those who have false profiles, those who just want to see my contact list, and those who want to be able to say that they are connected to me and create a false sense of security to those that know me. Be careful of these types of connections as they ruin your LinkedIn credibility.
Remember that LinkedIn is not a popularity contest.
It’s about quality of connections not quantity. Don’t feel like you need to be in a rush to get into the 500+ category, especially if you’re just beginning your career. Build your network through meaningful connections. The goal here is to be putting the energy into a social platform that will work for you professionally. To have contacts you can reach out to and clients you can keep in touch with.
“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” – William Shakespeare