I am pretty forgiving of lapses in social media etiquette. After all it is still being established. But one thing that has really started to annoy me is people selecting the ‘friend’ tab when making unsolicited connections on LinkedIn. This irritates me for two reasons: they are clearly not my friend, and they have ignored the other more appropriate options such as ‘other’. I can cope when people put in an explanation in the accompanying message but they invariably don’t.
So, to avoid incurring my wrath, here is the proper way to make an unsolicited connection on LinkedIn*:
- Do NOT choose the ‘friend’ option: select ‘other’
- FIND the person’s email address if required through Google — it’s not hard
- Write a message explaining WHY you want to connect and what the advantage for the other person might be (Tip: you selling me something is rarely an advantage for me)
In the long term we may become friends — I hope we do. But if today we are not and you want to connect, please show that you have some manners and follow the tips above.
The world will be a better, happier place.
(*Note that LinkedIn suggests that you shouldn’t connect to people you don’t know but I think this is bunkum: as long as you have a good reason to want to connect that makes sense to both parties)