LinkedIn Connections, Contacts, and Followers, Oh My!

A number of people have asked me, “What is the difference between LinkedIn Connections and Followers?”

Such an interesting question! But first, I have to add Contacts into the mix, just to make it more complicated.

Here it is, broken down based on how LinkedIn is approaching it currently. And as I always say, it’s subject to change!

  1. All Connections are Followers.
  2. You can have Followers who are not Connections. Those are considered Contacts.

You can see the Number of your Connections in several ways. Here’s the one I find most useful. Go to Profile – Who’s Viewed Your Profile – How You Rank for Profile Views. The tab on the right shows the number of your connections and lists them by number of views (but that’s a different post topic). Let’s just say that I am totally happy with a status slightly below Brian Burns and Jack Kosakowski in my world!

You can find your number of Followers under Profile – Your Updates – Followers. I have a few more followers than Connections. Mostly because I am not currently posting on Pulse but I do engage in Groups.

Well, then how do you get more Followers?

You have opportunities to increase your influence and attract more followers who will read your comments and posts.

  1. You can get Followers from Groups engagement
  2. You can get Followers from Pulse posts readership

Let’s address each of these separately.

Getting followers in Groups.

If you are active in posting on groups then you’ll receive a number of benefits. You’ll earn “creds” on your topics. You’ll get invites to connect. And you’ll get more Followers.

Getting Followers from Pulse posts.

Regularly posting interesting and relevant articles on Pulse is the best way to get more Followers. Serious thought leaders who post on Pulse (both quality and consistency are important) gain a loyal following. Benefits of that is you then show up even more regularly in reader’s feeds. It compounds on itself.

There you go! Start engaging more on LinkedIn to growth both your Connections and your Followers.


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