Why You Need A Strategic Approach To Your LinkedIn Network

By Susan Tatum

Susan Tatum - LinkedIn Connections - The Conversion Company

Have you ever really stopped to think about who you are–or should be–connected to on LinkedIn and why? The power of your LinkedIn network is not just about how many connections you have. The power is more about who is in your network–both individually and collectively.

How your LinkedIn network affects social media efforts

There are three key benefits your network can provide you: access, visibility, and credibility.

Access

As you may have noticed, LinkedIn does not allow everyone to find and potentially communicate with all 400+ million members, which is probably a good thing. Instead, it provides access based on your current connections and their connections. (Access is also affected by the type of LinkedIn account you have; basically, the higher the subscription fee, the broader the access, but it all starts with your direct connections.)

In one form or another you can see and reach out to your direct connections, your direct connections’ direct connections, and their direct connections. Your access to LinkedIn members grows rapidly, as does your visibility to those members.

Visibility is exposure

Just as more connections means access to more members, it also means more people will potentially see you and your LinkedIn activity. Each time you post a status update or group discussion, or you like, share, or comment on someone else’s update, article, or discussion, your activity potentially shows up in the news feed of your entire network—all of your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections.

The three degrees of connections also works in reverse. Anyone that you can see can also see you. This means you will show up in more searches of people who are trying to find someone with your experience and skill set.

Adding 1st degree connections rapidly expands your overall network and the number of people who can see you and your activity. Your network grows exponentially.

Credibility

“You are known by the company you keep” has been said, in one way or another, by so many people–including your parents–that the exact origin doesn’t show up on a Google search. Regardless of where it started, its meaning survives on LinkedIn, where your buzzword alert or “personal brand” can be highly influenced by who you are connected to.

Although you can choose to keep your connections invisible to others, doing so will rob you of a chance to associate yourself with the right people.

Open, closed, or strategic

In the first days of LinkedIn, networks were a way to connect online with people you already knew personally, and knew fairly well. Every now and then I run across someone who still considers it important that he or she can pick up the phone and reach any and all of their connections. Today, from a sales, marketing, or business development perspective, I fail to see the value of a closed network strategy. Just like a real-world networking event, LinkedIn is a place to meet new people.

One the other end of the network spectrum are open connectors–known on LinkedIn as LIONs–who will connect with anyone who finds their profile and clicks on Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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