In the Metro newspaper on 11 Feb 2014, I read an excellent article entitled ‘Our friend can be fake, like it or not’. It was all about how ‘likes’ and followers on Facebook and Twitter are now being bought and sold.
This made me start thinking about the value of LinkedIn. Is it all about how many connections you have – whether you know them or not? Is it about how many endorsements and recommendations you have – whether they are given by people who know about your work or not? In short, is the ‘numbers game’ more important than what underlies those numbers — e.g. business relationships?
At least for me, the answer is a resounding NO. I think many times we forget why LinkedIn was created and what its true purpose is. It was not set up to be a recruitment site, a selling site or a marketing site (although it can serve these purposes) — it was set up and still is the best online professional networking site in the world.
Networking is about building great business relationships that are based on getting to know one another well and are beneficial to all parties involved. This is obviously impossible if you don’t know the people you are connected with and never engage in conversation with them!
So instead of focusing on how many connections we have, etc – let’s focus on building online business relationships that are real and let the numbers take care of themselves.
How are you building great business relationships via LinkedIn? I’d love to hear from you.