LinkedIn: Engagement Comes First (and You’re Using it Wrong)

Facebook is for private stuff and LinkedIn for work-related things, right? Wrong – at least partly.

It is easy to fall for this, though – because that is how these companies market themselves. I recently discovered something that made me rethink this assumption. Here is why.

Most people give away “private data” much more freely on LinkedIn Like many others my Facebook profile doesn’t have my phone number, my LinkedIn profile does. That makes networking with LinkedIn a lot easier because I have paired my phone with LinkedIn.

That means every new connection I make on LinkedIn shows up in my address book – complete with phone number and data. When someone calls me, and we are connected on LinkedIn, I know who is calling.

Or I don’t.

Because LinkedIn is “for business” connections, I have many connections on LinkedIn, who I have never seen. Never talked to.

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They now all have my phone number – and 99% are never going to call. And if they call, I am not going to be ready for the call. You can propose anything to me on that phone call – the best you are going to get is: “Can you send this via Email?”

Worst case scenario: I’m going to hang up. And that might not be because I don’t want what you offer – that is because I have no clue who you are and what you want. (Ok – often I simply don’t want your offer.)

LinkedIn Is “For Business” Is a Bad Excuse

Because LinkedIn is “for business” and because we give away contact information so freely on LinkedIn so freely – we forget that engagement on social networks always comes first.

This is especially true for networks where we give contact information out freely.

That doesn’t mean you cannot be proactive – that contact info is still there for a reason. But you should make sure that I know who you are before you use it and that you are moving sensibly through the contact channels.

Here is an example: If you send me a contact request on LinkedIn and I approve – here are two things that can happen:

First option:

We connect, you look at my profile and find that we can cooperate. You call me with your proposal. My thoughts at that exact moment: “Who the fuck is that?” Chances of success: Close to zero – no matter how good the offer is.

Second option:Because LinkedIn is “for business” and because we give away contact information so freely on LinkedIn so freely - we forget that engagement on social networks always comes first.

We connect – you send me a message politely telling me who you are and why you connect to me. Then politely tell me that you would like to connect via email. If I reply – great. If I don’t you follow up with an email. If I don’t reply – I’m probably not interested, but it also means you can then try to call me – you don’t have anything to lose any more – and chances are I at least know who you are. You are still in a better situation than before.

If I answer you are in a great position – you can exchange a few emails with me, than you might call me – or even better: Ask me when a call would fit in and give me a specific reason why I need to make room soon. (Got a special offer? Great!)

Now you are going to tell me that you don’t have the time for so many steps? Well, all of this doesn’t take so much time if done right. Not in the modern age – CRM software, marketing automation, … Successful sales people always move this way on social media.

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If You Are Not Doing This You Can Go Back to Cold Calling

With people on Facebook and Twitter being much more prohibitive with their personal data – this process comes much more natural. You need to ask for emails and phone numbers there anyway – so you actually do it.

This is why many people make much better connections on Twitter and on Facebook than on LinkedIn.

Don’t underestimate the power of Engagement.

This article was proofread and edited by myself with the help of Grammarly. If you are blogging in English and cannot afford a professional editor, Try Grammarly Now! It rocks.

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  • Michael Vincent

    Very well said.

  • Sean Alden Fitzgerald

    This is a useful and well written article. Thank you.

  • Splashes

    Concise and made great points, thanks for writing this.

  • Hendrik

    Well for unwanted phone calls use your blacklist . this might be the reason that one woman does not respond after i did try to contact, and i have to say “its sick” . i try to create a new way off thinking. Thats not wrong, if you want to change something, then change youre self first.

  • Pro Expo Exhibits

    Very interesting, and good points made all around.

  • Rick Wolff

    I’ve been on LinkedIn for about 8 years, and have never gotten approached this way.