This week's tip is a question from a reader, Graham, about LinkedIn invitations;
Q: I have a query concerning the sending of invitations to connect. I was only averaging a response rate to my invitations to connect of about 25% to 27%, so I tweaked my invitation message and got my response rate up to 55%.
I still think that is too low for a platform based on interactions and networking and was wondering how I can be sure that my invitations are actually getting through to the person concerned. Is it possible that some people can wittingly or unwittingly block invitations to connect?
A: Without seeing your message or knowing who you are approaching there could be a number of reasons;
1. People's activity on LinkedIn compared to other social networks is low. Of the 500 million members less than 25% are active on the platform.
2. Those that are active average as little as 20 minutes a month on LinkedIn. It does help if you are active also. To check others activity go to their profile and look below the 'Highlights' section following the Headline and Summary for 'NAME Activity'.
3. Some people have stricter connecting policies than others. I know some people that will only connect with people they have physically met, others only those they have spoken to etc.
4. Your own profile is not communicating enough information for people to see a reason for connecting. i.e. they do not see a relation between yours and their experience.
5. If you have outstanding invitations that are at least 45-60 days old it's good practice to go into your account and withdraw those invites versus letting them sit there.
Graham sent a follow-up question to that last comment;
Q: Would you think it a reasonable option to then re-submit the invitation, say after a further month's delay. Or would that somehow breach any of the LinkedIn unofficial etiquette guidelines?
A: Perhaps once you have not had success the first time, 'stalk' the person a little more on LinkedIn first, like, comment and share their content, raise your profile with them and then do the invitation again or find someone who knows them and ask for an introduction.