There are many LinkedIn users who treat LinkedIn connections in the same way as Twitter followers.. the more the merrier. LinkedIn was intended to connect those who know, trust and recommend each other. If you connect to everyone who asks, whether you know them or not, you are watering down the network for yourself and everyone you are connected to.
Think of LinkedIn connections as people who you know and trust, people who know what you do and how your business operates, people you have done business with or worked with in the past. Add connections on a regular basis, new people you meet and do business with and those you have reconnected with.
The idea is to use your known and trusted connections to make introductions to people you want to get to know. Make strategic connections to people you want to do business with, by all means, but tag them as “strategic” and remove them after a while if it has not turned into business. Also remove the connections you don’t recognise – LinkedIn will be more useful to you when you are only connected to people you know!
That said, there are reasons why one would connect to someone you want to get to know, or someone who may be able to bring you business. Just remember to remove them if they do not become a “real and known” connection, and work on them.. invite them for a coffee, understand what they do, and make sure you educate them on what you do and how they can help you!
This article first appeared on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20140917081802-4485913-who-to-connect-to-on-linkedin