How to Boost Your Networking Efforts on LinkedIn

Kim Thompson
Oct 26, 2023

LinkedIn turned 23 years old in May and remains a vital part of your career connections. Most recently, LinkedIn has 875 million members, and 52 million people use it weekly for their job search.

Even though other social media platforms may have more users, LinkedIn remains a strategic way to connect with other professionals in the business community. As with other marketing tools, it is only as effective as the user. It takes planning and effort to network on LinkedIn, but unlike traditional networking that takes place during special events or within business hours, it is open 24/7, regardless of your location.

LinkedIn’s purpose is to help you build your network by connecting to people you know and those with whom you share similar interests. It differs from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram in that it focuses on growing your professional contacts instead of personal ones.

Networking will always be vital to growing your career. Learning how to meet new people, join groups or attend training events is all available to you on LinkedIn. How you approach others and grow your contacts list remains up to you.

Recently a friend received an invite, and we discussed how well the person briefly described her background, what they shared in common, and the purpose of wanting to connect. Her invitation stood out and made a positive impression. Instead of using LinkedIn’s auto invite to help members connect, she addressed her by name, making the message and connection more personal. The approach was much more effective in making a good impression and attracting interest versus a generic invite.

Even though the speed and ease of making connections to people are not comparable to traditional networking, you still need to follow some golden rules of networking to make your efforts successful such as:

  • Have patience and stay consistent with the process. It takes time to build relationships and make new contacts.
  • Post information that could help others and slowly build a community of contacts with similar interests. Develop an attitude of looking for ways to give back rather than take from others. Make your interactions give and take, mostly giving, to build credibility and goodwill.
  • Follow others on LinkedIn you would like to connect with and comment on their posts. Have good manners and show thoughtfulness when reaching out to others. Joining groups and asking questions is a great way to generate conversations and become part of a discussion.
  • Think quality rather than quantity. While others may opt for the open networker status with literally thousands of connections, the reality is that you only have so much time to devote to building quality relationships.
  • Keep following up with those you meet. You build momentum and keep your relationships moving forward when you try to keep others informed and in the loop.
  • Be genuine when sending a LinkedIn invite. Using generic invitations sends the same message as a “to whom this may concern” letter. If you take the time to add a bit of personality to your message, it makes your invitation genuine and shows more interest.
  • Traditional networking is primarily based on timing and luck, such as an unexpected meeting with a senior executive at work that is unplanned. The benefits of social networking take out the luck factor and give you access to numerous people rather than waiting to meet with them accidentally. Social networking needs to be part of your relationship-building efforts. However, you need to use it actively.

Click here to tell us about your networking success on LinkedIn. How do you take it to the next step and use it to advance your career opportunities? We would love to hear your advice and tips!