It all began with an update.
While checking on my LinkedIn presence, I noticed an important oversight. Though I’ve officially been President of cuZOOM, business cards and all, for a few years, I hadn’t included it in my profile. “No big deal,” I thought. “I’ll just get that added.” Title: President. Description: Blah, blah, blah. (I promise you we’re more interesting than that, but this isn’t a place for marketing.) How long? About 2 years.
“Congratulations!” “Congrats!” “congrats” These notifications greet me throughout the day on all my devices. What in the world? I don’t mind the recognition, but what have I done to deserve it? Besides being my general strapping self…yes, I know. Looking back, I saw the reason. Ignoring the time spent at company field, LinkedIn decided to notify all of my connections that I had a new position. Not only that, they encouraged each user to congratulate me. (Takes a bow. Thank you, thank you! No really, it’s too much. Thank you!)
These people are my connections, my dear connections. Didn’t they know I’ve been with cuZOOM for a while? Or is it such habit to follow the guidance of your social network? “Wish this friend a happy birthday”, “Congratulate your connection on their new job”, “Celebrate your buddy’s work anniversary with this $14.99 digital paperweight: Click here to buy”.
After a nice laugh, I clarified the situation on the post. Yet congratulations continued to arrive! It’s as if LinkedIn, in their infinite wisdom, exclaimed, “Keep the posts coming! You never know when you’ll hear from them again!”
It would be a simple update for LinkedIn to only show that notification when the date you started is within a certain threshold, say, 3 months. If I updated such that the post read, “Congratulate Joe Winn on his new position: Chief Ice Cream Taster, Ben & Jerry’s”, you know the response: “Congrats!” And I hardly ever eat ice cream! (though theirs is amazing)
So how well do we really know our connections? Can we even consider most acquaintances? People like people who are like them. People do business with people they like. How many of your LinkedIn connections (or any social media network) do you like?
Doing business online can become a faceless affair, far separated from the human element, even when we’re looking at a photo of them, right on the screen. Keep that in mind as you communicate with your staff, partners, or members. Details matter, big and small. In today’s fast-paced world of Twitter posts and status updates, those details can mean a loan, a loyal member, or even a friend.
Otherwise, you could be just another comment on this thread: “Congratulate your connection on their new position: CEO of Awesome at You’re Not Even Reading This!”