I don't know about you, but I am a little frustrated with LinkedIn lately. Every single day now I am getting multiple generic "I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn" messages. Most of these are coming from people I do not know, and as they are mostly generic, I have to assume that the senders are not really interested in making a connection - but simply are building up the contacts they have. That does not make any sense to me. In fact, I think it dilutes the value of their real network. Our Dealmaker Index Global Sales Benchmark Study would suggest that there is little correlation between the number of contacts someone has on LinkedIn and their revenue achievement. The value is in how you build connections, not how you accumulate contacts.
I am a huge fan of social networks and have personally built relationships and won business directly as a result of our social media activity. We have even built LinkedIn and Twitter integration directly into our Political Map Express and Dealmaker Smart Opportunity Manager products to make it easier for our customers to leverage their social networks.
At The TAS Group our core philosophy has been to shape thinking, cultivate customers and earn permission to engage. We try to follow 4 key principles:
1. The Social Universe is a great place to listen and learn
2. You Should Give Value First and Expect Nothing in Return
3. You Must Be Authentic, Be Prepared to Fail, and Don’t Give Up
4. It is advisable to be Open, Collaborate, and Co-Create – Let Others Play in the Community
The recent trend towards accumulating contacts seems to fly in the face of that. If those who you link with have a massive network, but you are not really connected to them, then it dilutes the value of your network, as they keep popping up as the link, and that sometimes gets in the way of people who you really now, and who might really help. Perhaps LinkedIn’s recent practice of continuously suggesting new people to connect with is partly to blame for this. It may well the case that LinkedIn has a different agenda - will we see them entering the CRM market with a 'contacts-already-supplied' strategy, who knows? - but as a social network to build connections it is losing its value, IMO.'
This was really brought home to me when a female colleague of mine received the worst kind of message. It went like this ...
How are you? I hope it has been a productive week for you..
I know the idea of using LinkedIn for an online dating websites purpose is weird. I don't do this all the time. But i was captivated by your profile picture. I don't how recent the picture is,but you caught my attention and you look very beautiful.We belong to the same group (Sales / Marketing Executives (CSO/CMO)).
However,I'd love to get to you know you if you're single and available to date. We could get to know each other and meet for lunch,dinner or a cup of coffee whenever we are both comfortable to meet and depending on your schedule.
What do you think?
Is this really what LinkedIn has come to?
I seem to remember that, in the past on LinkedIn, you used to have to identify how you knew the person before you invited them to connect. I, for one, would like to see that - or some other threshold of relationship - reinstated.
Otherwise the spam-factor will just increase and we will have to look at alternative solutions, and that would be a shame.
And yes, I will post this on LinkedIn, and see if there is any response. If you care about this, please share.