Do you know who’s Following you on LinkedIn?
(And for that matter, who you Follow?!)
Before I explain how to find out, my good friend, accountant Aimeé Hargreaves, recently asked me what the difference is between a Follower and a Connection. Here’s the answer I gave:
Connections are two people who have Connected on LinkedIn because, at some level, they know and trust each other. A Connection automatically becomes a Follower (in LinkedIn terms).
On the other hand, Following someone on LinkedIn (not Connecting) allows you to see the person’s posts and articles on your homepage/in your feed (when the algorithms determine so!) without being Connected to them. However, you must remember that the person you are Following won’t see your posts at all unless they Connect or Follow you in return.
Here’s how I think of it:
I will Follow a person who can add some value to my life. Usually, someone who has provided thought-leading content that has come across my path. Perhaps someone who is geographically at a distance from me as well.
This was another question that Aimeé posed on LinkedIn. No one but you can see who is Following you. It’s private information!
You can turn off the ability for people to Follow you if you wish, BUT I can’t see the point in this myself. I’m on LinkedIn to engage, so if someone wishes to Follow me, then I have no objection.
To stop someone from Following you:
There’s also a slider switch here which you can turn on to make ‘Follow’ the primary call-to-action when people view your profile rather than ‘Connect’. Personally, I would always keep my blue call-to-action button as ‘Connect’ as I’d rather have a meaningful Connection SO THEY GET TO SEE MY POSTS rather than have the default set as ‘Follow’.
Here’s a quick tip:
Use this URL to check on who you Follow and who is Following you on LinkedIn:
Why? If people are taking an interest in YOU, learning from the valuable content – helpful videos, beneficial tips, insightful infographics, engaging podcasts or eye-catching photos – you share, might there be an opportunity lurking somewhere? A chance to help them and begin to build a trusted relationship with them? An opportunity that could blossom into a new client, business partner or contact?
Why not consider Following them back or even sending them a Connection request? (Remember to always personalise a Connection request with a note saying why you would like to Connect, where you know them from or how you can help them (without sounding ‘salesy’). For a more in-depth guide on growing your Connections on LinkedIn, check out my posts:
You never know where it might lead…
Another one of my valued Connections, Roger Masterson (who, may I add, is brilliant at creating memorable experiences in historic castles. Intrigued? Check out his profile!) asked if there was a way to categorise the data about your LinkedIn Followers shown from the URL above (for instance, to show the people who just Follow you but who you have not Connected with). He wondered if this feature was just available with the paid version of LinkedIn (LinkedIn Premium).
Although LinkedIn doesn’t make the data about Followers easy to manage or understand, this link will display your own Connections:
The only way to understand how many people who Follow you, as distinct from being a Connection, is to subtract the number of Connections from your Following number!
In my case, I have about 7% more people Follow me than I am Connected to.
To my knowledge, this method is not improved through any upgraded LinkedIn option.
Marketing Manager at JBC Industrial Services Limited, Angela Spurling asked me if it was possible to sort her LinkedIn Followers and/or Connections into different groups so she can identify each on more easily. This was because she has a mixture of current industry-related contacts and non-industry related colleagues, friends and acquaintances from previous employments on LinkedIn.
Grouping Connections USED to be a feature on the basic, free version of LinkedIn but was unfortunately taken away a few years back.
I’d always recommend holding your contacts outside of LinkedIn on your own CRM system, be that a database or a spreadsheet! There you can ‘splice and dice’ your Connections any way you like! (You can categorise your leads in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, but that is an expensive package for this purpose alone). You can find out about Sales Navigator prices here.
What strategy do you have for determining who to Follow on LinkedIn? Let me know on LinkedIn!
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