Connect, Message Or Follow: Make The Best Out Of Your LinkedIn Account

Building your LinkedIn network is one great way to open doors to getting and giving career advice. Growing your network isn’t just about the number of connections you have. In fact, we recommend multiple ways to have enriching conversations and meaningful interactions with people on LinkedIn.

Who exactly should you connect with?

Everyone talks about LinkedIn connections and the benefits they provide as you grow your professional career. And that is the truth! For starters, connect with people you know and trust. If your network is filled with connections you know personally, it is real and usable, so that each and every connection has the potential to be helpful to your professional life, whether that’s a job recommendation, an introduction, or career advice. Try to connect with 20 folks you already know. You’ll start to see relevant posts in your feed that you can engage with, helpful recommendations on people you might know and groups you might want to connect with and join, and potentially referral opportunities for job openings. A few quality connections can help you kick start the organic growth of your professional community.

Don’t know someone personally, but interested in what they have to say?

Instead of connecting, consider “following” them. “Following” someone will ensure their content shows up in your feed but removes the hurdle of needing to send them a connection request first. This is perfect if you want to learn from established thought leaders in your industry or stay up-to-date with someone you admire. You’ll be able to engage directly with their content through reactions and commenting so you can start to build a professional relationship with them. And, engaging with their content in a thoughtful way can hopefully lead to a confirmed connection down the line.

If you yourself are interested in reaching a larger audience on LinkedIn, you can easily make “follow” the primary action when others view your profile by editing your settings. By encouraging people to follow you rather than connect, you position yourself as an expert in your field and reach a diverse audience that goes beyond your connections. Plus, there is no limit to how many people can follow you on LinkedIn.

Decide when to message

If there is someone you want to engage with but you don’t actually know them yet, there is a good chance one of your connections might know them. Use your current network and get started with a  “warm” introduction before diving deeper into a conversation.

We’ve made it even easier to send a message to multiple recipients – simply ask one of your connections to start a group message on LinkedIn to help make an introduction. And, if you’re already in a group conversation, members of that conversation can simply @ mention someone they’re connected to in a conversation to easily add them into that message thread. This is a great way to get the conversation started, and could eventually turn into a new, strong professional connection down the line.

Engaging with people in the right way can help you have more productive, meaningful conversations on LinkedIn. Use these conversations to build quality professional connections that can help you as your career continues to grow.