How Many LinkedIn Connections Should You Have? My Advice May Surprise You! [VIDEO]

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LinkedIn is a very interesting social networking site.  Many users say they only want to connect with people in their closed network, but unless that network is big enough, the benefits of using LinkedIn to find and be found become minimal.  On the other hand, I find many users who don’t care about acquiring LinkedIn connections often talk about how many they have as an indication of how active they are on the site.

So how many LinkedIn connections should you have?

I recently shot a video at a keynote speech on social media in Orange County, California where I unveiled my Windmill Networking calculation of how many connections I recommend you should have as a goal on LinkedIn.  I’ll let you view the video, and the surprised audience reaction, and let you form your own opinion.

Note that the number and partial concept I talk about at the end of the video comes from one of my favorite Seth Godin blog posts, First, Organize 1000.

Everyone’s network size and participation on LinkedIn will be the result of a number of varying factors.  But, if you think about my advice, isn’t it a reasonable goal to meet and potentially link up with 10 to 20 new people each year through networking events?  Even if you’re fresh out of college with few professional connections, I believe the calculation that I propose is reasonable.  And if you’re a true Windmill Networker, you can easily meet 10 to 20 people in a month or even a week!  I have networking events where I meet several people I want to connect with in a single day.

If you could put a calculation as to how many connections one should have a goal for, what would you recommend?  Looking forward to everyone’s input!

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Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
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Neal Schaffer
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Comments

  1. says

    I completely agree that 10-20 new connections a year is a good number. I am a recent college graduate and am using LinkedIn strictly for networking purposes. If I want to connect with more people than that I will use Facebook or Twitter. LinkedIn is a perfect platform for connecting and staying in touch with people you network with for business purposes.

  2. says

    Thanks for the comment Lauren and glad that you found the advice useful. I always recommend college students to get involved on LinkedIn before they graduate..the earlier you start networking on LinkedIn, the quicker your network will grow and be able to help you out in your future endeavors!

  3. drbrucehoag says

    So, by using your calculation you must be 50-something, or maybe 100-something. Instead of teaching people about social media, why not tell them what face cream you use. It's a bigger market. ;)

  4. says

    Great question Neal!

    The answer is not the quantity of people that you have, it's the quality of those connections. There are some people on Linkedin that I see, that have 50,000 people in their connection base. That's great, but how many of those people REALLY are a “connection”. I'd rather have 100 people that I know and trust, than having 50,000 virtually unknown apparitions we call “connections”. Is it great to connect with an acquaintance that you meet once, or even someone you meet in a discussion group? Absolutely! You never know who will leads to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It doesn't hurt to have more, but by no means does it qualify one's ability as a networker or a Social Media “Guru”.

    Kudos to you and keep up the great work!

  5. says

    Thanks for the comment Andrew. The video that you commented on was actually towards a group of “newbies” on LinkedIn, and I wanted to encourage them to think big in a natural way, that as we get older our professional networks of acquaintances naturally grow larger and thus our LinkedIn networks should be able to scale in the hundreds…

  6. says

    Thanks for the comment Andrew. The video that you commented on was actually towards a group of “newbies” on LinkedIn, and I wanted to encourage them to think big in a natural way, that as we get older our professional networks of acquaintances naturally grow larger and thus our LinkedIn networks should be able to scale in the hundreds…

  7. says

    I’m just writing an E-Book on the topic of social marketing. I wrote “I consider people with over 500 connections on LinkedIn to be a bit questionable. Like the folks you meet who are networking just for the sake of networking – not for the sake of getting to know others.” I then thought, “Gee, I wonder if I’m alone in this thought?” Googled it and found this video. Thanks!

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