My LinkedIn Connection Management Strategy

Spoiler: the mute connection feature is the most effective tool to improve your feed.

In the eighteen years since joining LinkedIn, I’ve adapted my connection management strategy. For the first 10-12 years, I would accept connection requests only from people I actually knew and, often, met once or more in person or by phone. That approach served me well.

In recent years, I shifted this slightly. Today, if an incoming connection is well known to one of my trusted connections, I’ll accept the request. Otherwise, I often reject them. I will reject incoming requests based on other criteria that I will not reveal here.

I generally reject requests from vendors, particularly if their tagline or their invite implies that they see me as a business prospect. I already receive too many vendor communications, and I know how to find vendors if and when I need them.

For those who are already connected to me, I will retain them as a connection, unless:

  • They do an excessive number of posts, re-posts, or likes. If my feed starts to look like their feed, I’ll most likely mute the connection. They will remain a connection, but I’ll no longer see their posts, comments, or likes.
  • They are overly political. Whether I agree with them or not, I’m here in LinkedIn for business, not for politics or social issues. Connection muted.
  • They are overly non-business. LinkedIn is not Facebook. Connections whose posts look more like Facebook are immediately muted.
  • They post clickbait.
  • They post those ridiculous questions, such as: Click Like if your first programming language was C; click Celebrate if your first programming language was Pascal; click Support if your first programming language was Fortran; click Love if your first programming language was Java.
  • They are abusive. No further comments needed.

I have found that these practices result in a really clean feed with little or no politics, cat pictures, and so on.

One thing about the Mute Connection feature. To my knowledge, LinkedIn does not provide a list of muted connections, nor do they show that a connection has been muted. That means that being muted is kind of a LinkedIn death penalty. You can be muted, but you can never leave.

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