LinkedIn – A Tale of Two Interactions

It was the best of conversations. It was the worst of conversations.

– thanks Dan for the intro

LinkedIn_logo_initialsI’ve written about LinkedIn effectiveness before, but a couple of weeks ago I had two interactions in a single day that exemplified what I have been talking about and advocating for the past couple of years.

The two interactions represent contrasting approaches to what constitutes social media interaction – one effective and one far-less so.

Generic versus Personalized

On the same day, I received two connection requests: One, a “I read  your blog post on…. and would like to connect.” more personal request; the second, a generic LinkedIn request with the standard automated message.

Hint #1: context of the connection.

It isn’t that every generic connection is a “drive-by” connection, but I strongly suggest that when you are making a connection request, you add a short personal message, so the recipient knows that you are truly engaged with the connection.

That’s important… to be truly engaged.

I responded to both connections. I sent a note to each. The note is my general information response, but it’s always customized based on my review of the connection’s profile.

I take the time to see what is in their profile, what they do, their field(s) of interest, any publishing they’ve done, etc. I try to ask a question or two specific to what I read about them.

This takes more time than simply connecting.

Response: Sales versus Getting to Know You

Both people responded, but the difference in the responses was dramatic.

Engaged and personal

One person responded by thanking me for the note. They then told me what they were working on and reiterated how helpful they’d found my blog post. They asked me a couple specific questions about something they were working on.

Clumsy pitch

The next response was a pitch for purchasing more than 10,000 high quality leads and why his company was the best one to purchase such leads. Never mind that the pitch is questionable on its face… the fact that I was pitched at all is what is clumsy! No context or awareness of who I am or the message I’d sent when I accepted the connection request.

The Ongoing Interaction

Suffice to say, the interaction with the first person – who engaged for real, has been ongoing and productive.

I sent a response to the person who clearly had not read my message – perhaps theirs was an automated response. I asked if they were a real person? Had they read what I wrote to them? Was there anything in my profile that had prompted them to connect?

I received a second response reiterating their first pitch! That I could buy thousands of leads from them.

At that point, I blocked them and reported them as spam!

Make Social… Social.. and Valuable

High-value content – educate, entertain, or tug at the heart-strings. Earn the right to pitch what you do by providing value.

Any questions, comments, or personal insight into this topic? Please leave a comment and consider sharing.

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