One of the biggest and most image tarnishing mistakes people make in social media is the blind collection of numbers. Whether it is collecting meaningless followers on Twitter or blatantly soliciting people to “friend” a Facebook page, the idea behind such hard sell activities is to artificially increase the number of people “using” a particular network. The motive behind these activities is the idea that the larger a person’s follower base, friend base, or Linkedin connections are (no matter who they are or where they are from) the more valued or validated that person is as an expert or authority on their subject matter.
Collecting numbers, you can buy 4,000 followers on Twitter for $12.95, is simply just that-a collecting of numbers. The worst scenario of all for “false expertise” through collecting of numbers is the collection of Linkedin recommendations.
Quality Over Quantity
The number of people that recommend a person is not a perfect indicator of that person’s abilities, expertise, or authority in their niche. It is more meaningful to acquire, without blatantly soliciting, solid recommendations from people with expertise, industry authority, or well respected people
3 Steps to Quality Linkedin Recommendations
- Don’t Blatantly Solicit: The worst approach to receiving a recommendation is to ask for one. This approach puts undue pressure on your friend, leaves them with a decision, and it can make for awkward communications and weaken your connection to that person
- Write Recommendations: With a top down approach to clients and collaborators (start with the most relevant or important), begin writing recommendations for people. The benefits are goodwill with your network, top of mind reminder of your work, and status updates with your name attached
- Request: Write a well thought out and powerful recommendation. Before sending it, attach a message asking:
- Does the recommendation meet their expectations and is it accurate?
- Ask them for their feedback on the recommendation
- Close by asking them if they would consider writing a recommendation for you if they feel they have benefited from your relationship together