If you don’t want anyone to contact you, why are you on LinkedIn then?

whyI had this happen TWICE in the past week, so it begged for a blog entry. If you don’t want anyone to ever contact you online, why on EARTH are you on a social networking site like LinkedIn?  (“Networking” I thought was the operative word in the sentence.) I mean, people are expected to communicate with each other on these sites. So…

This weekend, I made it a point to reach out to some financial service professionals who had requested to be connected with me. (I never met them face-to-face or through another connection. They asked for a connection request and I accepted as their profession dictated we probably could work with each other.) Most of the individuals I reached out to were very receptive, even grateful for the greeting and talked about their weekend….but I had not one, but TWO, who said, “Stop spamming my inbox.”  Are you for realz?

I spent some time thinking on that…did they forget they requested me to be their connection and not the other way around? Do they know how to adjust their email notifications so their inbox isn’t “violated”? Do they know what a social networking site is? Let’s discuss as I have a possible answer for each of these questions.

Did they forget they requested me to be their connection and not the other way around?  I get it – we are busy. Everyone is moving a mile a minute and the information around us is moving at a lightning pace – we can’t possibly remember every detail. This is why using CRM systems are important; they help us not have senior moments. LinkedIn has a very powerful one and I did a webinar for Ash Brokerage that goes into great detail how to use this so you don’t forget how or why you connected with someone in the first place. Use the CRM; make it your friend. It will not fail you during moments of, “Who is this person?

Do they know how to adjust their email notifications so their “inbox” isn’t violated?  Every social networking platform has a way to adjust notifications  – every single one of them. If you don’t know how to use these and you blame someone else for spamming your inbox – there’s only one person to blame and it’s not the person in your inbox. Not taking the time to set-up your notifications and then getting upset when someone networks with you on a networking platform (which is still hard to wrap my brain around why that person is there to begin with) is like going to the store and getting everything for a banana split; except you forgot the banana then getting pissed that it doesn’t taste right. The banana was pretty important to the dessert being built correctly, right? Take the time to get familiar with your notifications. If you don’t remember why you reached out in the first place, then go back to the first question above and watch the webinar to learn how to use the CRM system or simply disconnect from the person. You don’t want to be remembered as a grouchy fart when the time comes that you might need that person or you remember weeks later why you did need to connect. That could be an unpleasant and/or awkward conversation.

Do they know what a social networking site is?  Webopedia defines it as follows:  Abbreviated as SNS a social networking site is the phrase used to describe any Web site that enables users to create public profiles within that Web site and form relationships with other users of the same Website who access their profile. LinkedIn is a social networking site. It is not an online résumé site contrary to what many believe or have been using it to do. The ability to actually connect with others and communicate are the key ingredients to a social networking site. If it were simply an online résumé site such as Indeed.com – then you wouldn’t really have a traditional inbox to manage that wasn’t about jobs. Understand there is a subtle difference in LinkedIn and again – go back to the above questions of knowing why you connected with the person in the first place and managing your notifications so you can use networking sites correctly.

Last, but not least,, if you don’t want to be connected to someone anymore – that’s totally cool. My advice is to just simply disconnect. No harm, no foul.  Refrain from sending grumpy messages – let it go. The response of “Stop spamming my inbox” is the new version of what hanging up the telephone on someone felt like, except hanging up felt better.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!

Sheryl Brown / @BIONICsocialite

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