Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Using LinkedIn Network: My Experience

You might have read a similar post on this network before or you might have had similar feelings for what I am going to write here. This post is about "use of LinkedIn network".
I started using LinkedIn long before it was so famous. Since the beginning, I wanted to grow my network so I searched like minded people and increased my network. But for couple of months, I have developed a feeling that some people are either using it for marketing purpose or they just click on all the suggestions made by LinkedIn to connect.
I did an experiment few months ago. whenever I received a connect request and noted that this connect request has few common friends, I used the feature of "get introduced" of LinkedIn and requested the common connection to introduce the person who sent me connect request. The results were obvious. One person responded that he just added this common connection bcz he received a connect request from that side and he does not know him. other few even could not respond to whether they know the person or not. On the other hand, I received few connect request with similar work scope in Quality, as soon as I received, I got a msg from this newly connected person offering consultancy services for his company.
LinkedIn is a great source of developing a network but its use requires understanding the scope as well. A network of 500+ does not mean the person is quite popular or is a well known professional in his field. It may be that the person clicked on sent request option from his email address book which contained 300+ addresses. It may be the case that person sent requests to all suggestions made by LinkedIn for growing network. Similarly, 500+ might mean your company has assigned you a marketing task and you added all possible ppl in order to send them unsolicited offers of your product.
There is no harm in sending a connect request but there are few considerations.
1. The person you are requesting falls within your professional work domain at present.  Common features like "training or similar interests" are not good criteria for selection. Similarly, even if you know the person but you two have different work scope, better connect on FB for socialization.
2. 2nd criteria of your request may be that the other person may facilitate you as mentor or may help you in the growth of your career. Even in that case, your area of work should be similar.
3. If you are sending connect request for marketing purpose, inform the person on accepting the request and before making any marketing offer.
4. Do not accept connect offer as and when received. Do analyze the scope of the other person in the same way you do before sending any connect request.
I might appear to you too critical in my views but I want to be honest rather than tricky. I know many people are doing the same thing as proposed here. But I feel that there is still a large number of LinkedIn population which will find this article useful for effective use of LinkedIn.