February 9, 2017

Why You Should Cull Your Contacts on LinkedIn

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Published: 9 February 2017 

For some people on LinkedIn, it’s all about getting the most amount of followers possible. Just think about the amount of people who have added you on LinkedIn and have “500+” followers. Sure, there are plenty of benefits of adding every person possible. If you’re trying to get a job, it raises your chances of a job being advertised in your timeline. If you’re trying to hire someone, you may get more applicants by posting it on the timeline. For some people, it just feels good to have a lot of connections.

However, there are several benefits to going through your LinkedIn contacts every now and then and cutting down on who you follow.   

So why should you unfollow contacts on LinkedIn?

1. They damage your reputation

Plenty of recruiters or HR employees use LinkedIn when looking for an employee. They will also be able to see who you’re connected to. You don’t want to risk having your reputation or sense of judgement damaged by being connected to someone questionable. Make sure you’re only connected with trustworthy people who will help to benefit your career.

2. They spam

Every now and then you’ll get a follower who has organised a message to be sent out to their followers once you’ve accepted their invite. These are normally pretty friendly, and are just a “thank you for connecting with me” type of message. However, these are ultimately an advertisement for their business. A lot of the time, you can expect a follow up message with a request to help with their business - if this link wasn’t included in the original message. These contacts also now have access to your email address, which they can easily add to a newsletter.

3. Less fear of missing out

One of the problems with social media is how it increases your “fear of missing out.” You see everyone’s social life, how great their personal life is going, and often compare your life. LinkedIn is no exception - it shows who has got a promotion, asks you to congratulate someone for their work anniversary - and just generally increases your professional envy. While life isn’t a competition and you don’t need to compare your career to others, some connections are kept just for that reason. If you’re not friends, don’t talk and are only examining their career trajectory, it’s time to delete them.

4. They Use LinkedIn for Outbound Marketing

The more contacts you have, the more opportunity there is to advertise your business to people - all for free! If you’re accepting people that add anyone and everyone, chances are you’ll end up with an advertisement in your inbox. Some people will send weekly messages. These people use LinkedIn for transactions rather than for networking.

Who should you delete on LinkedIn?

Once you know why you should delete people off LinkedIn, the next question is who to delete? We’ve narrowed down the types of people you’ll find on LinkedIn that you don’t really need to be connected with.

1. People you don’t know

So you might have got their auto-generated welcome message in your inbox, but that’s the only time you’ve heard from them. If you don’t actually know this person, and aren’t using them for networking purposes, then it’s time to consider why you have them added.

2. People you are not comfortable contacting

The whole point of LinkedIn is to network with your connections. If you’re not comfortable sending them a message, then that’s a pretty big sign that you don’t need them in your network.

3. People with extreme views

Sometimes people post extreme or controversial views online that you may not agree with. This could potentially reflect poorly on you, as you think their character is good enough to connect with. If you wouldn’t want to be associated with them in real life, don’t connect with them online either.

4. Contacts you’re not associated with in real life

So maybe you went to high school or university together. Maybe you used to work together. Whatever the reason is, sometimes you fall out with people or stop contacting them. They may not be complete randoms you don’t know, but they add little value if you aren’t talking. If you’ve stopped associating with someone in real life, delete them off LinkedIn as well.

5. People who don't contact you

You’ve tried to contact people and left messages, but they keep going unanswered. If someone can’t put in the effort to reply to your messages, they aren’t worth the time.

How can you unfollow people?

So now you know why you should unfollow people, and who exactly to unfollow, the next step is to actually unfollow them. Here’s how you can get on with the task of culling your contacts:

  • Once you’re logged into LinkedIn, navigate to the “My Network” menu item, and select “Connections” from the drop down bar.
  • This will give you a list of connections, which you can sort by recently added, first name or last name,
  • Hover your mouse over each contact. This will give you the option to tag, message, or remove a contact. If you want to delete them, simply hit “Remove”.

If you’re using the app on your mobile, you’ll want to navigate to My Network on the bottom menu, and then select your connections on the top left hand corner. This also gives you the option to sort your contacts. Next, you want to tap the three horizontal dots next to the person’s name (clicking on the contact will take you to their profile, and they will be able to see you’ve been into their account). Clicking on the dots brings up a menu to send a message or remove connection. Simply select "Remove Connection" to delete the contact. 

These tips should help you to cull your LinkedIn contacts and leave you with only beneficial contacts you can network with.

 

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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