Is it time for a connections cull?
One of my first tasks every year involves disconnecting with people who are no longer relevant or adding value to my LinkedIn network. Why do I and others do this and what are the benefits?
More of that later but there are a couple of things I spotted this week which you might find interesting;
LinkedIn’s Premium Gift Program. Did you know that LinkedIn provide a free 3-month subscription gift to randomly selected premium members who can choose who they provide the gift too? This isn’t new but I hadn’t heard of it before.
If you are a premium member and lucky enough to receive one you might be notified by email but if like me, you’ve switched off emails from LinkedIn, it might be worth checking in your My Premium page and looking on the right rail to see if you have a gift to share.
This is a great initiative and may provide you with a chance to help someone who desperately needs a new job in these difficult times.
New On-Demand Learning Center for Advertising on LinkedIn This is a free course now available to everyone from LinkedIn – it’s free because they obviously want to encourage more of us to advertise!
it might be worth a look at although be warned when I tried to register it needed to send a verification email to me which never arrived…clearly some teething problems there!
LinkedIn Stories Update
Following the introduction of swipe-up links in the last edition of LinkedInformed, I wanted to highlight a potential issue that John Espirian mentioned in a comment.
The addition of this feature potentially exposes you to bad actors who are after your LinkedIn login credentials.
Here’s how it might work;
- You see a story that encourages you to view that persons latest post/article by swiping up.
- The page you arrive at looks just like a LinkedIn login page (the actual url is shown at the top of the page but it is very small)
- You enter your username and password which is taken by the bad actor
- Your account is hacked!
Every January I spend some time reducing the size of my network. It feels like a good way to start the year by clearing out connections that have become irrelevant and pave the way to connect with more people who I feel may add more value. I’m nowhere near the 30,000 limit but I do believe that LinkedIn works better for me if I keep my connections below the 12k mark.
This has traditionally been a fairly slow process as LinkedIn do not make it easy. I explain how I now undertake this task in the most efficient way in this video.
More recently I spoke with a connection of mine called Craig Langley who over a period of time has managed to reduce his network from c20,000 connections to 6400. This is much more radical than what I have been doing but I must admit that the benefits he has seen are quite compelling;
- More relevant feed providing many more opportunities to engage
- Improved engagement on his posts from more relevant people, thus enabling greater visibility to a targeted audience.
- A much higher invitation acceptance rate. It appears that invitation recipients are positively impacted by seeing relevant mutual connections in his profile. When you have a high number of mutual connections, the impact is often lost.
- The mutual connections feature also helps to make it easier to invite new people to connect by quoting a relevant mutual connection rather then having to sort through hundreds to find one that appears appropriate.
- A smaller list of connections makes it much easier to keep in contact with people. How many times have we ‘lost’ someone who we value in a larger network? This happens much less often with c6500 connections.
- Easier to search and filter your connections.
- Incoming birthday/anniversary messages become more relevant and potential engagement opportunities.
- Introductions are much easier to ask for and give with a tighter, higher quality network.
Craig has found LinkedIn works much better for him now that he has his network size under control. It’s important to note that his network is by no means small – this is not about only connecting to people you know – that strategy is probably worse than connecting to 20-30k but keeping your connections relevant makes perfect sense.
Many of us (myself included) spent our early years on LinkedIn connecting to all and sundry which at the time made sense as LinkedIn was a small community in 2005 when I signed up and to gain any visibility in search and activity was really difficult.
The game has changed, LinkedIn is now mainstream and you can easily achieve great visibility with a smaller, relevant audience by connecting more frugally.
Given the nature of what I do, I am never going to reduce my network to the size Craig has – in theory, every LinkedIn member in the world is a potential customer for me so relevance is harder to define but I would like to try to get below 10,000 and to do so I probably need to keep going beyond January this year!
This post was nominated by Mark Lee. I like it because it breaks the mould of videos that tend to do well. It’s quite long at 7 minutes and is very business focussed so why does this one work?
Firstly Andy does have a strong following with over 27,000 and his posts regularly get 20+ comments, he also regularly spends time engaging with other posts.
The content is helpful and interesting to many people on LinkedIn, it has a broad appeal and is very shareable – many people have tagged someone who they feel will benefit from it in the comments (much better than re-sharing).
Please feel free to ask me any questions you have about LinkedIn and I will attempt to answer them in this AFQ section.
This week Patrick Twitchett asked the following;
Why am I getting so many emails from LinkedIn all of a sudden? I am pretty sure I switched off a lot of these. For some reason recently I appear to have been receiving more, not sure if you have come across this?
I haven’t noticed this myself and I have mine almost all switched off but it is possible that when LinkedIn recently redesigned the privacy & settings section, they reverted your settings back to the default – I have heard of this happening before.
Your emails from LinkedIn can be controlled in the ‘Communications’ section of your settings.
That’s all for this week. feel free to drop me a message (it’s free) with any questions of suggestions for topics to cover in the future on LinkedInformed.