We all do it; we add connections to our LinkedIn account without thinking. Sometime later we may find ourselves wondering why we connected with some of the people we have on our lists; we don’t know them, in some cases have never met them and have probably not a ‘conversation’ beyond the initial ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network’.
But, at the time it obviously seemed like a good idea to add Joe Bloggs or Jane Doe, and we may well have had a great reason for either asking them to connect with us or accepting the invitation that came our way. The trouble is we can’t now remember what that exceptionally good reason was! Or can we?
If you’ve ever really checked out what sits within the contacts section of your LinkedIn account, you may well have noticed on the left hand side that there a set of helpfully provided tags, usually ‘friend’, ‘partner’, ‘colleague’ and ‘group’. With the exception of ‘group’, which automatically includes everyone you connect with, who’s also a member of shared group, the others are random inclusions. When you click on these tags you’ll find that your contacts are neatly segmented, how LinkedIn thinks it knows who is a partner or a friend I’ll never know, but it does make some interesting assumptions.
The real beauty of this system however, lies not in the automatically generated tags that LinkedIn provides, but in the tags that you create yourself. I have tags for people I know have bought LinkedIn Made Easy, for people I know are part of the BNI network and for many other purposes. This means that whenever I want to find out those connections that are most likely to be interested in a particular topic, I can find them quickly and easily.
To add a tag to someone you simply click on their name in your contacts, when their profile pops up on the right hand side of the screen you use the ‘Tags’ link to either add them to a tag you’ve already created or create a new one, not forgetting to save any changes before moving onto your next contact.
Now of course, there really is no excuse for not knowing why you connected to all those people on LinkedIn.