Twitter is made for celebs, it helps them engage with their fans and therefore you feel closer to them – but LinkedIn?? You don’t follow on LinkedIn, you ‘connect’ – that’s different.
A new update came through on my LinkedIn homepage today as one of my friends had just connected with Keith Lemon… someone I think is hilarious and probably a decent entrepreneur to have made it in the industry, but he’s not someone I was expecting to see on LinkedIn!
For me, LinkedIn has always been about your career and therefore was a place to connect with people where there is a mutual career benefit today or in the future i.e. networking. Because of this, LinkedIn only encourages you to connect with people who you know. With this in mind, traditionally it wasn’t possible to connect with people who were a 3rd connection or more away – there are now other factors affecting who you can connect with, such as being part of the same group – but the point is, LinkedIn’s target audience and what their brand’s associated with may be changing…
Having seen the connection update, it prompted me to take a look at Keith’s profile and because he was now connected with my friend, it meant that he was a 2nd contact for me. This means I could now request a connection – no big deal, but he would have to accept me! Not a new concept to social media as Facebook was built on social acceptance, but in business it’s different, we’re talking about careers – there is a professional code where you don’t just connect with anyone.
So if a celebrity has millions of LinkedIn connections, in the same way that they have millions of followers on Twitter, they will become the middle man moving a load of people from your 3rd contact to your 2nd contact. This opens up more opportunities to connect with people who you perhaps don’t know that well…this could be good for your career opportunities, but could dilute the exclusivity of who you know on LinkedIn.
Does this matter? Well not for me, but I think it changes LinkedIn’s position in the social media market. I think it moves them closer to Facebook and Twitter which perhaps starts to blur the line that separates LinkedIn from everyone else.
I would love to know your thoughts.