In this article, you will learn about the differences between Follow vs. Connect features on LinkedIn. Also, you will hear about the benefits and strategies for both. Additionally, you will find out why people follow someone on LinkedIn and how you can do it as well.
The key difference between the “Follow” and “Connect” functions on LinkedIn is that following allows you to see someone’s public updates and content while connecting requires mutual agreement and allows for private messaging and access to each other’s connections.
The choice to follow vs connect with someone on LinkedIn depends on the level of interaction and access you want to have with that person. Following someone on LinkedIn allows you to see their public updates and content without requiring their approval while connecting requires mutual agreement and allows for private messaging and access to each other’s connections.
LinkedIn also offers features such as job postings, groups for like-minded individuals to network and discuss industry topics, and a newsfeed that provides relevant industry news and insights.
What is “Follow” on LinkedIn
To follow someone on LinkedIn means that you subscribe to their updates without necessarily being connected to them directly. This includes status updates, likes, comments, shares, and any public posts they make. When you follow someone, their content will appear in your LinkedIn feed.
Although you can see their updates, they won’t be able to view your activity unless they are connected to you or they follow you back.
Following is an easy way to keep an eye on industry thought leaders, but also companies, or influencers. Basically, it allows you to stay updated on their content and gather important information for your industry.
What is “Connect” on LinkedIn
When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, they become your 1st-degree connection, and both of you can view each other’s updates and activity on the platform. This includes job changes, new connections, and status updates. Additionally, your 1st-degree connections can view your full profile, and you can see theirs as well.
Connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn is an easy way to expand your professional network and build your professional brand.
While both following and connecting on LinkedIn involve engaging with other users on the platform, they serve different purposes and have specific differences:
- Relationship: Following allows you to view another user’s public posts and updates without being directly connected to them while connecting makes them your 1st-degree connection, offering more direct engagement.
- Visibility: When you follow someone, they do not have direct access to your activity or profile. However, when you connect with them, they will be able to see your updates, activity and access your full profile.
- Communication: You only need to click the “Follow” button on their profile to follow someone. Whereas connecting requires you to send a direct invitation to join your network, and it is recommended to include a personalized message.
- Network Expansion: Connecting with someone increases your network’s size and may lead to more introductions to other individuals in your industry. Following someone does not necessarily have this same effect.
- Privacy: Following is a more discreet way to engage with someone’s content without directly connecting with them, which could be helpful if you’d like to keep your LinkedIn network more exclusive.
Following individuals on LinkedIn allows you to see their activity in your feed, such as articles, posts, or updates they share. To follow an individual on LinkedIn, follow these steps:
- Log in to your LinkedIn account and search for the name of the person you want to follow.
- Once you have found the profile, select their name and open their profile page.
- Under their profile picture, you can find a “Connect” button and a “More” button. Click on the “More” button.
- In the drop-down menu, select “Follow” to start following that person.
Alternatively, if you see a post or update from someone in your LinkedIn feed that you would like to follow, you can also click on the “+” icon next to their name. If the person accepts followers, you will start following their content.
Connecting with people on LinkedIn is basically the same process as following someone. The main difference is that you will select the “Connect” button instead of “Follow”. Simply navigate to the profile of the person you want to connect with and find the button under their About section.
Some people will disable the connect option, so you won’t be able to connect with them.
LinkedIn is a professional social networking platform that allows users to connect with peers, colleagues, and other professionals in various industries. Networking also provides opportunities to stay updated with the latest trends, news, and job opportunities.
Following on LinkedIn is a great way to build your online presence. However, you’ll also expand your knowledge and stay informed about the latest happenings in your industry.
Comparing Follow vs. Connect on LinkedIn lets you quickly see how these two are equally important. You’ll usually follow industry leaders while connecting with potential business partners or coworkers.
Following Influencers and Thought Leaders
One reason to follow influencers and thought leaders is to stay informed about the latest trends, ideas, and best practices. Influencers are individuals with a strong online presence and can exert significant influence on their followers.
This usually happens through their knowledge, experience, and opinions. You can engage with some of the brightest minds by following influencers in your field. They regularly share insightful articles, updates, and advice that can benefit your career growth.
Additionally, engaging with these thought leaders by liking, commenting, or sharing their posts allows you to build relationships and expand your professional network.
Following Companies and Organizations
Finding companies and organizations on LinkedIn is another effective way to stay updated with industry trends, job opportunities, and other relevant information. You’ll also be able to see if they post a job opening or any important announcement.
Also, if a certain company is launching a new product, you’ll be ahead of your peers because they often post about it on LinkedIn first.
Establishing Professional Relationships
Connecting on LinkedIn allows you to form lasting professional relationships that can facilitate your career growth in numerous ways. These connections may lead to collaborations, mentorship, knowledge exchange, or even a referral to a potential job opportunity.
As you create and strengthen bonds with those in your network, you’ll also learn from their successes and leverage their knowledge, fostering both personal and professional growth.
Expanding Your Network
LinkedIn makes it easy to expand your network with minimal effort. You can connect with professionals, company representatives, and industry experts from any location through LinkedIn. This boosts your professional circle and enhances your exposure to diverse knowledge, ideas, and opportunities.
Moreover, LinkedIn connections extend beyond one-on-one relationships. When you connect with someone in your network, you can see their connections as well, exponentially increasing your reach. Not only will you extend your network but you’ll also provide those within your network with access to your connections, opening up possibilities for shared growth and development.
Enhancing Your Online Reputation
Connecting with other professionals on LinkedIn allows you to demonstrate your skills, experience, and industry-related knowledge to your network, building your credibility and professionalism. As you expand your connections, more people have the opportunity to view your profile. This will establish you as an expert in your field.
Receiving endorsements and recommendations from colleagues, clients, or supervisors on LinkedIn increases your credibility and validates your abilities. These recommendations and your overall profile strength and number of connections contribute to your online presence and reputation.
A positive online reputation is essential for attracting new job opportunities, clients, and career prospects.
Generating Job and Business Opportunities
LinkedIn connections can directly lead to new job offers or business opportunities. Having a broad, diverse network of professionals increases your exposure to potential employers or collaborators.
Many organizations use LinkedIn to search for talent and connect with potential candidates, making having a well-managed profile and powerful connections essential. Your connections may also be essential in recommending you for job opportunities or connecting you with potential clients, but make sure you optimize your profile.
Actively nurturing and growing your LinkedIn network is essential to harness the full potential of this powerful platform for your career success.
The main distinction lies in the relationship: when you follow someone, you will see their updates without being linked directly. In contrast, when you connect with someone, you establish a mutual connection that allows for more engagement, such as direct messaging and endorsements.
By following a person on LinkedIn, their public posts and shared content will appear in your feed. However, you cannot endorse skills or send direct messages, as a more personal connection has not been established.
When you connect with someone, you become a part of each other’s network. You can then message each other, endorse and recommend each other’s skills and see activity. There are different connection degrees on LinkedIn, for example, if you connect with someone that’s a 1st-degree connection. However, if you got a mutual connection, that’s a 2nd-degree connection.
If your goal is to stay informed about an individual’s insights, updates, or expertise, following them is appropriate. Alternatively, if you have a personal, professional, or mutual interest, connecting will create a more meaningful relationship that allows for in-depth interaction.
Yes, you can follow individuals without connecting to them. This allows you to receive their content and updates while maintaining a more distant professional relationship.
Yes, you can change your relationship from following to connecting by sending the person a connection request. If they accept the invitation, you will both become direct connections and be able to engage at a deeper level.