I'm all for connecting with people on LinkedIn. After all, that's what it's about, right? But just because I have a link to my LinkedIn profile on my website, doesn't mean I want to connect with absolutely anyone.
Social media enables people from all over the world to connect with each other. Business networking in particular has been made immensely easier through sites such as LinkedIn. One of the primary goals of LinkedIn users is to grow their network. It's one of my goals and I must admit I still get a sense of excitement when I see a LinkedIn connect request.
My profile is public and I comment on topics in groups so I know that people beyond my immediate network will see me. So I fully expect that occasionally I'll get connection requests from people I don't know. In fact, I received four such requests this last week alone.
And I declined all of them.
Why? Because they all used the default request, "I'd like to connect with you on LinkedIn." It's so simple to just click the connect button that people have forgotten the basic rules of business etiquette. Well, etiquette in general really.
If I met you at a networking event would you just hand me your business card and walk away? Not likely. You would take at least a few moments to introduce yourself and explain why it might be beneficial for us to connect and exchange contact details. We may never do business, but at least I can make an informed decision about whether to add your card to my contact file (or click Accept on your LinkedIn request).
It's just common sense.