As social networks continue to evolve, one thing is “constant”; change is the norm, not the exception. What worked in the past may no longer work, or a new menu, layout, or process is required to accomplish the same task.
The same is true in the way LinkedIn connect requests are now handled. Research was done recently to determine the best way to “personalize” connect requests, and here are the findings.
A few years ago, LinkedIn made changes so that all ways to connect provided a pop-up window that allowed one to “personalize” the request, a basic “best practice” rule that should be followed, whenever possible.
I wrote an article entitled, “LinkedIn best practice tips: to connect or not?” that highlighted the ways to “personalize” requests at that time – well that has since changed.
Upon interviewing several people regarding whether or not a pop-up window to “personalize” the request was provided, it became evident not everyone is using the same LinkedIn profile, and that some people (without their knowledge) are given slightly different profiles that perform differently when connect requests are made.
LinkedIn was contacted and I was even told that I had been placed in a ‘Beta’ group with a profile that resulted in some connect requests that could not be “personalized”.
From a “best practice” / social “netiquette” perspective, a “personalized” request is always better, and will have a higher connection success rate. Some people absolutely REFUSE to connect with anyone who sends them the generic, non-personal, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” request.
Following submission of a support ticket to re-instate the ability to “personalize” all connect requests, these guidelines were received from LinkedIn support, and it goes without saying, subject to change.
3 ways to personalize requests are:
- To send a “personal note” in an invitation, click the “Connect” button found in the top section of the member’s profile.
- You can send personalized invitations by clicking “People You May Know” page here: http://www.linkedin.com/pymk-results by clicking the envelope icon that appears when you move your cursor over someone’s name.
- A final way to send personalized invitations is from the Imported Contacts page. From there, check the box next to contact you want to invite, and then check the box next to “Add a personal note to your invitation”.
You can no longer send invitations with personal notes from the “Add Connections” page. This includes invitations sent during the process of importing a contact list and those sent by entering an individual’s email address. Enhancements to this feature are still under consideration for a future release.
Best practice tip:
Always include a personal message with any connection request — the chances greatly improve that your request will be accepted.
Parting thoughts -
Despite the best efforts of some to “personalize” connection requests, depending on the profile being used, and the way in which the request is generated — the ability to “edit & personalize” prior to sending the request may not be available.
Given that LinkedIn continues to place people in different profile groups, and does NOT allow all connection requests to be “personal” (why not?), hopefully the three ways provided that DO allow editing prior to submission, will provide ways to connect more successfully.
Bottom line: Be polite, and “personalize” connect requests, when possible.
The famous line by Col. Nathan R. Jessup (aka Jack Nicholson) from A Few Good Men seems to have it covered. “You have to ask me nicely.”
– September 4, 2012 Richmond Social Media Examiner article, “LinkedIn best practice tips: to connect or not?”
To read The Examiner article, and find out more social media tools and tips, check out other Richmond Social Media Examiner articles.