One of the questions I am asked frequently is: "Should I connect with my colleagues on LinkedIn?"
The answer is a resounding yes, for these reasons:
1. It gives you access to your colleagues networks
This enables you to broaden your network, while identifying where you may have mutual connections.
For example, a client of mine wanted an introduction to a director of a local company to me. I realised I was only one degree of separation away from this director, and I was connected via Lisa, our chief organiser, who used to work closely with this director in a past life. Without connecting with Lisa, this conversation for my client would have never have happened.
While this functionality may be performed for you by your firm’s CRM, often your CRM wouldn’t have this level of detail of the interconnectivity of employees networks.
2. It keeps you connected if either of you leave the company
For example, you never know when one of your colleagues may leave the business. In fact, ex-colleagues who move elsewhere are very often a good source of potential new business, too.
Without the LinkedIn connection, you may lose contact. As a result of publicising my book, The FT Guide to Business Networking, one of my old team got back in touch and booked me to work with her organisation.
3. You get to learn from each other about where and what you should be doing on LinkedIn
What groups are your colleagues in and contributing to regularly? If you are connected, then you can see this and what activity they are doing in the groups. That way, you can find out what are the groups to be in, and also help out your colleagues by contributing to their discussions.
Do you agree with me?
Heather Townsend, Britain's queen of networking, helps professionals achieve business and career success using social media and networking. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She is the author of the current best-selling book on networking The Financial Times Guide To Business Networking which has 68 five-star reviews on Amazon.