A Tweet I recently faved is the logical follow-up to yesterday’s post about when one should like, follow and/or connect with a new contact through social media:
I don’t know Arik Hanson. I don’t know Lisa Grimm. I barely know of Trista Harris, (a fundraising pro I follow on Twitter) whose RT helped me discover these sage words. But none of that matters, because widespread sharing in social media means that it’s the message – not the messenger – that matters most.
Lisa Tweeted out her frustrations about receiving LinkedIn invitation connections from unknown people, something that I’m confident has happened to many of us. Arik followed up Lisa’s vent with a solid recommendation. And thus, problem met solution and they lived happily ever after.
Too simple? OK, let’s re-examine my LinkedIn connection criteria:
Have we worked together, either for the same employer or on a common project? Have we talked about working together? Did we swap business cards as more than just a courteous formality, but as a means to ensure we could stay in touch?
If I invite a new contact to connect, he or she has met one or more of the above criteria, and thus – despite my generic name – they are likely to remember me and appreciate the reason for my invitation. But even if that weren’t important, does a little extra friendliness ever hurt? It takes just seconds to change the boring, default LinkedIn verbiage into something that’s professional, personal and relevant. For example, why do this:
When I can do this instead?
I met Jay Frost at the Association of Fundraising Professionals conference, and wanted to stay in touch with him because of his passion for philanthropy, willingness to innovate and connections in the field. In case my name didn’t resonate, I reminded him where we met. If he needed more background, I included my Twitter handle. Jay’s response shows that he understands personal professionalism – of course he wanted to connect and stay in touch!
Maybe I could have simply left you with the Lisa and Arik’s wise words, but I wanted to remind you that our new forms of digital connectedness are called “social media” for a reason. A personalized LinkedIn invitation tells the new connection that you value your relationship; ideally, they will value you too. And isn’t that the point?