Dilemma for Senior Executives: Should you accept that LinkedIn request?

This is one question I’ve been asked multiple times by trainees whenever I’ve conducted my LinkedIn training sessions for various senior executives across the globe. The typical query is that, “I just don’t know that person, so why should I connect with him/her?” Well, for starters, LinkedIn is not Facebook. The one goal to keep in mind when interacting on LinkedIn is that we’re here to network. Yes, network is the key word here. But that also doesn’t mean you should connect with just about anyone and everyone—there’s some method to this madness!

LinkedIn is by far the world’s largest professional network, and it is a tool that helps you build your network for whatever professional purpose you desire. So, the fact that you need to actively build your network to extend your outreach is a no-brainer. But you need to be judicious in your approach to avoid being a spam target and your LinkedIn feed becoming a complete mess. Read on if you’re really serious about networking on LinkedIn.

Should you accept a request from a complete stranger?

There’s no straight answer to that! This will depend on a number of factors and will differ from person to person. To make things easy, there are a few criteria you can apply to filter out the crappy ones.

When is it best to ignore?

Ignore the request when,

  • The person is not from your company, function, or industry, OR
  • The invitation text is not explanatory/customized, OR
  • The person is from a competing company, OR
  • The person is a recruiter, and you’re currently not looking for a change.

When is it safe to accept an invitation?

Accept the request when,

  • The person is from your company, function, or industry, OR
  • The invitation text explains why it is relevant to connect to that person, OR
  • The person seems to be a competent recruiter AND you’re looking for a change, OR
  • The person is a senior executive from a relevant company you’d like to network with.

Should you be wary of accepting requests from competitors?

You might want to think twice before accepting that request if you’re in a sales function and the person is from a competing company. How does that make a difference? Well, if you don’t have the right settings in place, your competitor might be able to view all your connections and figure out your existing clients or prospects. However, there might not be much harm in connecting with a direct competitor too if you have the right settings in place.

What does a connection get to know about you?

This is a big fear that a lot of people have. A connection would get to know pretty much nothing apart from your public profile and activity if you have the right settings in place! Head straight to “Settings & Privacy” on your LinkedIn and click on “Visibility” on the right-hand side panel. Among the various options available, you have “Who can see or download your email address.” You can choose to even not let your connections view your email address—they’ll only be able to contact you through LinkedIn’s messaging feature!

It’s only if someone is outside your third-degree network would they not be able to view your public LinkedIn activity. Remember, if someone within your third-degree network needs to track your activity on LinkedIn, they can do that anyway by visiting your profile and without even connecting with you. So, fear not—if and when required, you can remove anyone from your connections without even letting that person get any notification.

Interested in getting personalized LinkedIn training? Want to get 10X impact on LinkedIn?

If you’re looking for a personalized online LinkedIn training session for yourself or your team, a training session can help you understand LinkedIn well and get 10X impact. Drop in an email to minhaj dot rais at outlook.com along with your LinkedIn profile URL(s) to know more.

12 reasons to create a company page on LinkedIn

If you’re in two minds about creating a company page on LinkedIn, check out these benefits that you can avail of by creating a company page to represent your brand on LinkedIn.

If you’re in two minds about creating a company page on LinkedIn, check out these benefits that you can take advantage of by creating a company page to represent your brand on LinkedIn. This blog post will also be very useful to understand if you’re making full use of your company page on LinkedIn.

Check out these twelve advantages that creating a company page offers.

  1. Creating a company page on LinkedIn presents you with an opportunity to create a distinct identity for your organization on LinkedIn.
  2. You get to add a smart cover image representing your logo, products, services, or any other aspect you wish to highlight. You can also add a short tagline up to 120 characters to add some punch to the pitch on your company page.
  3. You can add a short summary about your company, locations of your global offices, your company logo, website URL, featured groups, and relevant hashtags.
  4. You can post and interact with select content as an organization, your employees can tag your company page as their employer (this shows up as the employee number on your company page), you can post jobs, and showcase your products and services.
  5. Having a company page allows you to run sponsored campaigns on LinkedIn to target your audience based on various criteria. You can also run targeted paid campaigns to increase followers for you company page.
  6. Potential clients, employees, and practically any user on LinkedIn can “Follow” your company page to remain abreast of all updates being posted on the page. The more the number of followers, greater the reach and impact.
  7. Admins for the company page can view the number of impressions, clicks, and shares for each of their updates. You can add other members to become admins of your company page, but you need to be connected to them to be able to do this.
  8. You get alerts for all activity related to content on your company page. In short, you get to know who all have liked, shared, or commented on the updates posted on your company page.
  9. You get detailed analytics on your visitors, updates, and followers, including details on their geographies and job functions, apart from engagement statistics for your content for up to a year.
  10. You can also compare your follower, updates, and engagement rates with those of your competitors under the analytics section. Note that these competitors/similar companies are auto-selected by LinkedIn, and you might miss out on some obvious ones.
  11. Once you’ve added hashtags to your company page, you can click on those hashtags to interact with content posted under that hashtag as a company.
  12. Once you’ve created a company page, you can create multiple showcase pages to represent your different brands on LinkedIn.

I’ll be covering the difference between a company page, an affiliate page, and a showcase page in a separate blog post. Till then, remember that growing the number of followers on your company page, at least in the initial stages, is not an easy task. But do not lose hope. Keep posting relevant and engaging content to grow your follower count. I’ll also be covering tips for attracting relevant followers to your company page in a separate post.

Did you find this post useful? Do not forget to like, share, and comment! Feel free to post a comment if you’d like me to cover specific aspects related to LinkedIn in subsequent blog posts.

Should start-ups opt for a LinkedIn profile or a company page?

Does it make more sense to stick to a LinkedIn profile or create a company page for your start-up?

With more than 645 million members in 200+ countries and territories, LinkedIn is by far the world’s largest social media platform for professionals across the globe. So, if your organization’s goal is to reach out to high-potential employees or to showcase your brand and reach out to potential clients, LinkedIn is the place to be. Especially, if you’re looking for B2B opportunities, LinkedIn is probably the best bet around.

The type of engagement and results you can get through connecting and engaging with other like-minded professionals through your personal LinkedIn profile will be quite different from the engagement you can get through a company page. I’ve covered the various advantages of creating a company page in a separate blog post. Do check it out. But first, let’s get done with whether it makes more sense to make do with a LinkedIn profile or to create a company page, especially for start-ups.

A lot of start-ups/small-sized organizations create a LinkedIn profile instead of a company page to represent their brand on LinkedIn. It must be remembered that LinkedIn profiles are for individual members, and company pages are for organizations, institutions, or brands. In fact, it is against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions to create a LinkedIn profile to represent a company or an institution. In other words, a LinkedIn profile should always represent a person and NOT a company or institution. But do also note that you can create a company page only if you have a personal LinkedIn profile.

Start off with networking using a personal profile

If you’re just starting off on LinkedIn, it is always advisable to create a personal profile and begin networking with like-minded professionals or your target audience. An easy way to begin is to connect with your family, friends, colleagues, and classmates. Always remember to include an introductory note if you’re sending a connection request to someone who might not know you. That said, building your network of connections on LinkedIn is much easier than creating a base of followers for your company page on LinkedIn.

Once you have a good number of connections and understand LinkedIn well, you can explore creating a company page, especially if you’re looking to do paid promotions to enhance the reach of your brand on LinkedIn.

Creating a company page on LinkedIn

So, how do you create a company page on LinkedIn? It’s simple! Click on the “Work” icon on the top right corner of your LinkedIn homepage and then click on “Create a company page” to create your company page. More guidelines on creating a company page on LinkedIn can be found here on LinkedIn’s Help Center.

Do read this blog post to understand the benefits of creating a company page on LinkedIn that cannot be availed using a personal profile.