Social Media: Should I Accept All Connection and Friend Requests?

by Nancy Myrland

Social Media: Should I Accept All Connection and Friend Requests?

These questions and concerns come up often:

I just want to be connected to my family and close friends on Facebook.​

Should I accept a request from this person I don't really know on LinkedIn?

I have no idea who this person is. Should I Circle him on Google+?

They just keep following me on Twitter. Why would they do that when they have no idea who I am?

The first answer I will give you is that it really is your decision to make. I, nor any other marketing strategist, can tell you exactly what should be done in 100% of the cases. As you use these tools, and yes, they are just tools, you will begin to develop your own methods and philosophies about how they fit into your personal and professional life.

I can offer a few thoughts that might help you wade through your decision-making process.

It's going to be different on different sites. ​If you feel like you want an intimate atmosphere on Facebook, then keep it that way. I will tell you, however, that some of the people I've "friended" there have become very close friends and contacts. If I hadn't connected with them, I would have missed out on a great deal of information, perspective, personal and business camaraderie.

​On LinkedIn, we are all seeing invitations to connect from people we don't know, or who we can't even draw a path to connect how they might have found us. My recommendation here is to wade through each of them individually. If you sense they are after you only for the right to send you InMail but offer no value in terms of what they appear to be sharing, then think twice. If, on the other hand, you find them interesting in terms of your marketing and business development goals, and that also means pure education, not just that they will they become a client, then give them serious consideration.

Take Twitter and Google+ as examples of why connecting with those who are unknown isn't always a bad thing. My Twitter feed is full of people I would never have thought to connect with in the early days. People followed me, I glanced at many of their profiles, and reciprocated. What I have found is that I have formed some interesting and friendly relationships with many of these people, and am happy that I tool the time to do so. 

The mere act of connecting with people on any of these social networks means nothing. The act of connecting with them, talking to them, learning from them, asking questions, observing and sharing what they have to say with others, is what makes any of these connections worthwhile.

I wish I could remember who said this recently (if it's you, please tell me below), but this is similar to face-to-face networking. If I walk into a networking event and spend the entire two hours connecting only with people I know, month-after-month, have I really​ spent my networking time wisely? Wouldn't it be better if I ventured out from my familiar group of contacts and met those I don't know, thus expanding my connections? 

Is social/virtual networking​ really that different?

​Photo courtesy of PhotoDoc on Shutterstock


Written by:

Nancy Myrland

Myrland Marketing & Social Media on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.