I Might Have To Smack You If You Do This On LinkedIn

by Nancy Myrland

I Might Have To Smack You If You Do This On LinkedInI’m not naive. I’ve seen my share of rotten business practices, along with many good ones, some even great. I’ve witnessed people who try to do good, and plenty who seem to specialize in doing the opposite.

Teaching marketing, and social and digital media for the past umpteen years, I’ve seen plenty of people try to find the easiest and quickest shortcuts around doing actual work to grow their business. In rare cases, this type of efficiency can be good. Others, not so good.

I was reminded of one of the not so good practices the other day while catching up on my Google Alerts for LinkedIn. I ran across a post from “Stephen,” a guy who wrote about his experiences buying LinkedIn connections. Yes, I said buying LinkedIn connections…{{sigh}}.

I read the entire post to try to wrap my arms around why anyone would feel the need to do this. I know it happens on Twitter, as well as buying Likes on Facebook Pages. I don’t endorse those, but LinkedIn? C’mon! 

From Michael [any spelling or grammatical mistakes are his]:

“I needed a taste of rapid growth. So I did it. Purchased the package of 1000 LinkedIn connections for ten dollar. And I got what I paid for.”

Michael experienced some kind of euphoria resulting from a sudden outpouring of what he thought to be quality connections:

“A couple hours later, my connections skyrocketed. Yep. As all the preceding buyers on this particular offering said. It was for real. In about two hours, I went from around 100 to 600. Passing by two centuries in a blink. I had done it. I had connections that are new, and I was flying.”

Oh my…..Michael, really?

Suddenly this adrenalin rush of new connections wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

“And they come fast. I am thinking there are either a ton of accounts owned by one person (yea, dishonest), or some type of enthusiast network where people agree to connect for each other. Either way will probably never think of me and these folks do not have any real interest in me. They deceived me as all the connections turned out to be fake. Linkedin will dilute your image if you buy fake connections.”

I could have almost hugged him when he wrote this.

“There are currently over 85 million-business professionals who use LinkedIn as their favored social networking platform. LinkedIn offers business owners the chance to tap into this vast network of professionals, many of which may become sales and leads.”

Preach it Michael!! C’mon now…tell us more!!

“It enables you to specifically target people with particular interests, granting you access to one of the biggest databases of business people. Online business owner, successful entrepreneur and every top executive is using LinkedIn to connect with other like-minded people and to seek out products and businesses, which they want.”

Then Michael broke my heart again.

“If you want LinkedIn connections, the best thing is to go for real LinkedIn Connections from a respectable company who will offer you real connections.”

Michael. Michael. Michael.

My point is this. The point of spending time on LinkedIn is to turn contacts into connections. It takes time.

It takes a few minutes every day, or every other day to:

    • Find your current contacts on LinkedIn.
    • Find new contacts who are in the target audiences you have defined.
    • Share others’ updates.
    • Comment on others’ updates.
    • Send a note of congratulations when you see your contact has a new job.
    • Join a group or two that makes sense for your practice.
    • …and more.

Don’t Buy Contacts on LinkedIn.

If your practice is based on ethically building relationships and reputation, then you need to do what I suggested in this post over 4 years ago:

“There is a process to developing relationships with those with whom we would like to do business, or those we would simply like to call friends. It’s called building trust. The steps to building trust aren’t the same for everyone, or for every two people, but what I do know is that it takes time. We must earn it.”

I said that 4 years ago, and still believe it today.

Would you ever buy LinkedIn contacts? Why or why not?

Written by:

Nancy Myrland

Myrland Marketing & Social Media on:

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