LinkedIn Helps You to Build a Powerful Internal Network By Adding Context to Connections

A few months ago I started working for a new company. A big company. If you are reading this blog post, I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s called Oracle. And we have over 135,000 employees. Imagine how big my LinkedIn network would be if I connected with all of them. Or 10% of them. Even 1% of them would significantly grow the reach of my network.

There is power in connecting with others in your company even before you get to know them personally. I could send hundreds of requests a day and fill up my network with Oracle colleagues, but that really wouldn’t add a lot of value. So I’m doing it slowly. Connecting with colleagues I work with. And others in my division that I want to get to know. It's not about volume, but about making connections the right way. They learn about you and you learn about them in the process. It not only introduces you to your company, but also shows your external network that you are "connected" inside the company too.

It turns out that many new employees use LinkedIn as a way to learn about colleagues in their company. According to LinkedIn 46% of people say that they look up coworkers on LinkedIn because it’s better than their employee directory. We have a good employee directory, but most people don't add their detailed previous job history as they do on LinkedIn.

I’m also responding to requests from colleagues. I just got a connection request that is a great model for how you should connect with colleagues, whether you are the new employee or reaching out to the new employee. And these are great suggestions for any employee as you grow your network inside your company, or really for connecting with anyone.

Here’s the recent connection message I got from one of my coworkers. This is not someone I work with, but he’s another employee at my really big company.

I've just read a couple of your blog posts and found them really interesting (I know all about your dry cleaner John!). Great to have you on board btw! Are there any plans to have any UK/EMEA focused content too? It would be great if we could!

Let’s look at all the things he did right in a very short message:

1. The most important thing he did was add context to his message. Yes, even if there hadn’t been any, I would have accepted the connection since we work at the same company. Many people subscribe to the “No Context, No Connection” rule, so it is always good to add some context about why you want to connect. LinkedIn makes it too easy to skip this step, and it's not even possible on the mobile apps.

2. He mentioned specific aspects of my job. Obviously this was easier since I publish posts on the company blog, but this was additional context to the connection. He was not just telling me why we should connect, but he showed me that he’s paying attention.

3. He welcomed me on board. This is a nice thing when starting at a new company, especially a big one. This was a human touch to the message.

4. And finally, he offered me a suggestion of something I can do to help him. He’s in another region and let me know how important it is to support that region. That’s a great suggestion.

There was never any doubt that I would connect with him, but he sent a simple, yet memorable, message that already made the connection stronger by adding context, showing he was paying attention, welcoming me and offering a suggestion. I will definitely send him a link to this post to thank him for the inspiration and great behavior to follow.

One last thing, as long as we are talking about LinkedIn and new jobs, Make sure you check your website links and email addresses on your profile and update them to represent your new employer. Many people miss these since they are behind a slider. It’s one more step in a personal brand refresh when you change jobs.

While you are paying attention to your own social presence, don’t forget about who is paying for that shiny new title. Download the Modern Marketing Essentials Guide to Social Marketing to make sure you master the latest tactics for your company’s social efforts too.

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