When it comes to Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, I’m not too choosy with accepting followers. They serve different purposes- and to be honest, I’ve followed Instagram accounts for reasons as thin as them being positive. But when it comes to LinkedIn, there’s a case for exclusivity. Like making a recommendation for someone (the old schooled way – in person – you’re literally saying,
I trust this person enough that I think they’ll do a good job.
You’re connecting a recommendation to your brand – if someone’s an absolute disaster but their manager got a glowing recommendation from you, you’re indirectly responsible. If you don’t know the person, that credibility, and quite honestly, will to recommend someone is diminished. A continuation of that, is that you may be connected to someone at your dream company but it defies the network’s original purpose.
…will these people be who I turn to when I need something professionally? Will I be able to rely on them to tout my skills or offer any sort of benefit—other than making me look extremely popular on social media?
Probably not. It sounds harsh, but the fact remains: I don’t know anything about these people, and they know almost nothing about me—aside from the bits and pieces they read in that one article that I wrote. We could literally share a bus seat or sit in the same doctor’s office waiting room, and we wouldn’t even know it.
In other words – it’s quality not quantity. A 100 people who you can count on, and network with to expand your job prospects vs. 300 random people you don’t know, can’t credibly recommend, and may not be inclined to help when you have a limited number of “ins” with a company.