I was going over a bunch of random profiles on LinkedIn – and quite a few of them had insane amount of connections. I can understand a few hundred connections. How about a few thousand? Have you come across these profiles – and what do you think about them?
That’s also a trend I’m seeing become increasingly popular on Twitter. Twitter success seems to be measured by the amount of people you follow – of those that follow you.
I am not questioning the value of LinkedIn or Twitter – or any other social networking platforms out there. Nor I am suggesting that you do not make connections.
Making connections is the high way to social media success for sure – but the caveat is that they need to be “real” connections.
Let me define real:
- Connections that you can personally relate to – and can contact: I can give a shout out to a bunch of the people I follow on Twitter – and can reasonably expect a reply. Same is the case with my contacts on LinkedIn – to a much higher degree. Mike CJ, Nathan Hangen, Jordan Cooper would fall into this category for me.
- Connections that you cherish: I follow some blogging super stars on Twitter. Darren Rowse, Chris Garrett, Chris Brogan and Chris Guillabeau, to name a few. I cherish these connections, and unless something dramatic happens, I’ll keep following them. Besides, there’s always the possibility of elevating them to the next level – where I can personally connect to them.
- Connections that align with your core values: These could be friends or family – authors or bloggers – known or unknown. These connections are a function of resonance and wavelength matching. And I bet no too many are going to show up in this category.
Here’s another view of looking at building connections in social media – they’re the new age equivalent of email lists – with the exception that they don’t have double opt-in. When someone invites you on LinkedIn – or Twitter, your guard is almost always down. And unless something sounds really fishy, connections happen in a flash. Do they have any real value? Are they even real? Most likely not!
I’ll leave you with a few passing thoughts:
- Keep your social media connections real, personal and relevant.
- Avoid clutter.
- Stay away from a delusion of unlimited connections.
You’ll have a happier and more effective social media life.
What do you think? What’s your personal credo when it comes to making new connections on social media?
(Image Credit: Ducklover Bonnie http://www.flickr.com/photos/bonniesducks/)