Does Your “YES TO ALL” Social Media Mentality Really Serve You Well?

I feed the status stream of all my LinkedIn connections into my RSS reader. It is a great way to monitor what’s going on with the people I care about on LinkedIn.

Scanning it this morning, I noticed one of my connections was newly connected to about 25 people. As in, there was a repeated batch of “[insert name] is now connected to [insert name].”

I have to assume that my connection got into LinkedIn last night, saw that he had a bunch of connection invites, and accepted the invitations all at once…

Let me preface this by saying that the social web, and all that that implies, is utilized differently by EACH PERSON. What works for one, may not be comfortable, or effective, for another… And that’s ok.

But I don’t think the example I cited above is the most effective way. Did my connection really even know who he was accepting into his LinkedIn network? Or was he just trying to drive up his numbers and/or not be rude to those who invited him? How many of you [I know I have] have accepted invitations to large batches of invites, and then immediately looked at your follower count to see what the new number was?

[whatever. you know you have...]

This is the mentality that I think gets people in trouble. And by trouble I mean, they invest time and work into the social web, but don’t ever really see any meaningful value from it…other than driving up raw numbers of connections on various networks that at the end of the day doesn’t mean anything.

See, I think you should think through every one of those invites. Who is this person? Why are they trying to connect to me? What do they want/need from me? What can I benefit from connecting to them? Who do they know? How are THEIR connections relevant to me? How can I serve these people today? How can I bring value into their world?

The social web and all its various tools are simply means to collect information. Information that you can then use to take a meaningful action. That action could be simply to say “hello” and “how can I help you today?” But that’s a meaningful and important action…

Now, combine these deliberate actions, and apply them steadily over time! [and I don't mean 30 days, I mean years] That’s when you begin to see where this can have meaning in forging deeper connections with real people, increasing prospects to your business, strengthening your personal brand, etc…

So, the next time you log into LinkedIn or Facebook or Foursquare and see a pile of invites waiting for action, don’t just blindly click yes to all. Go through them slowly, carefully, deliberately, and think about what the connection means, and how you can take an immediate action that benefits the both of you…

What do you think?

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[cartoon by @gapingvoid]

  • thebaumgroup

    As usual Todd, a very thoughtful post from you to your readers :-)

    Re: “I feed the status stream of all my LinkedIn connections into my RSS reader.” Got me intrigued and thinking… how is this done??? -Dr. Rae

  • Jefflwolfe

    Good advice, Todd. I receive several invitations to connect on LinkedIn and am always deliberate in taking the time to look into the person's background and how we may benefit each other.

    While it's important to be deliberate in making connections, it is also important to look beyond your currrent circle of influence, as I have also experienced some success in connecting with people several time zones away. The world is a much smaller place than it used to be.

  • tschnick

    As always, thanks for stopping by. And as for RSS reader, go to the home page on your LinkedIn profile, look for “Network Activity” and then click on the orange “RSS” radio signal icon to the right of it.

    You can then sync it to you feed! Let me know if you have any questions!

  • tschnick

    That's a great point Jeff. Part of the reason I want folks to be deliberate is to determine how to proceed with an entirely new contact. Find out how best to parlay the relationship into something meaningful.

    Thanks for the clarification!

  • Jefflwolfe

    Todd, I hope that you took some time to discuss your concern with with the person you blogged about. I've seen many times where people announce births and marriages and discuss others on social media plaforms without picking up the phone. Often times people use social media platforms as standalone mechanisms for communicating, while it should be used to supplement the one-to-one communication that so many have forgotten about.

  • tschnick

    The gentleman in question is a former political client of mine. No worries, I have reached out. ;-)

    And great point, Jeff. Great point…

  • thebaumgroup

    Thank you Todd… Took me some time locate and as I was closing there was “Network Activity” with the orange icon -Dr. Rae

  • tschnick

    Oh good! I am glad you found it!

  • thebaumgroup

    Me too!!!