In the online world, presentation and image is the first thing people will notice and use to form their judgment. It’s something we naturally all do for better or for worse. But when it comes to social media, everyone’s choice of connections matters! LinkedIn connections isn’t just a numbers game. Who you choose to accept as connections on LinkedIn can have a real impact on the quality of your network and your appearance to others.
Whether you’re just starting out on building your LinkedIn network or you’ve been on the platform for years, making connections with others is valuable. Many partnerships, ventures, ideas, and businesses started from the LinkedIn Invitation page. However, before accepting an invitation, it would be good for professionals to take the opportunity to analyze this source invite first.
Unfortunately, LinkedIn struggles with an a lot of fake and spam profile accounts like any other social media platform. Many business professionals do want to build their network but have to spend so much time filtering through the fake accounts and A.I. generated images.
The first red flag of a fake or spam LinkedIn profile is often their activity. Fake profiles are usually “new” to the platform and have virtually nothing on their profiles. This doesn’t mean that every profile with limited content or “new” to the platform is fake. Some may genuinely be new to LinkedIn. But that leads to a second sign to determine if a profile is fake: The profile picture.
More often than not, fake LinkedIn profiles feature unnatural or “too perfect” looking profile pictures — it just feels “off” looking at their profile. In my personal experience, and I’m sure plenty of others have done this too, running a reverse image search on these fake profiles return results from stock image websites featuring the fake profile picture. But even more startling, some fake profiles may masquerade as real people on LinkedIn in an effort to harm their reputation or phish information from others.
Even if some profiles have a LinkedIn profile with some content and information listed, the posting activity on the profile may be a sign as to whether the profile is fake. Activity feeds from fake LinkedIn profiles often feature questionable content such as get-rich-quick schemes, MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) sites, or phishing links. Generated spam content is becoming a growing issue online, but an experienced eye and good judgment can help professionals recognize fake profiles from real ones.
Even if accepting these fake profiles may seem okay at the moment to boost your follower or connection numbers, this can actually backfire and cause others to possibly view your account as spam based on your connections.
Plenty of LinkedIn users, especially business owners are often plagued with connection invitations from salespeople, marketers, and the gurus. Every. Single. Day.
I’m sure I’m not alone on this, having to filter through so many of these sales “invitations” every morning. Usually, accepting even one of these accounts will lead to an endless barrage of sales messages, e-mails, and cold calls on your phone line. No one wants that. But accepting invites from these profiles can ruin your Home Feed and replace your actual interests with questionable “business advice” from these marketers and “gurus”. Worse, you may get a search feed full of spam or depressing content that has nothing to do with business.
Does this mean that all marketers and salespeople are bad connections? Absolutely not! Some may offer a genuine service or product of actual value you may be interested in. But those that refuse to respect your wishes or refuse to leave you alone and offer nothing of value as connections are not worth staying as connections.
It’s always good to make connections with others on LinkedIn and keep those connections active. Always be willing to send or accept invitations from others outside your field of business or expertise. You never know when that connection may become especially valuable to either one of you. To decide whether you want to make a connection with someone, just think: “Would I still want to make this connection if it were in person?”
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