If You Don’t Have 500 Linkedin Connections You’re Not Really Trying

girls social networkHow do you know if you measure up in the professional social media space?

Recently I had an interesting exchange with online marketing and social media consultant Jeff Korhan, from Chicago who said that “Virtually everyone has more than 500 LinkedIn connections.”

I said I thought that figure was unrealistic but Jeff shot back that:

“If someone hasn’t gathered 500 LinkedIn in connections it’s fair to say they aren’t really trying.”

Ouch I said and pleaded that Australians as a whole had been slow on the social media uptake despite being a nation of renowned early adopters.

Jeff graciously conceded that local factors do play a part in this.


The State of My Local Linkedin Network

As an exercise I decided to see how many of my local Perth Linkedin network passed Jeff’s 500 connections benchmark.

Only 24%, less than 1 in 4 scored above 500 and many of them only just.

I then went further and looked at how many had between 250 and 500 connections. Only 20%, so taken with the previous figure, that means less than half my local network has more than 250 connections.

As a final step, I looked at how many had fewer than 100 connections; surprisingly this was 21%, or more than 1 in 5.

(In case you're wondering, I have over 1,000 Linkedin connections.)

Perth Linkedin network pie

What’s really surprising is that many of the people with few connections work in industries such as PR, government lobbying, recruitment, advertising, online services and sales.

All of the areas where you would expect them to naturally develop large and strong networks.


Are You Taking Responsibility for Your Online Reputation?

In fact doing the numbers reinforced an issue I raised in another post that Australian business as a whole is dragging its feet getting on board the online train.

Many professionals simply haven’t made the cognitive leap that they need to be online to continue to do business.

The need to manage one’s professional reputation and brand has been well documented, so it surprises me that 76% of my network is not taking full responsibility for it.

I’m not sure why this is, because as consumers Australian’s moved online en masse a long time ago. So it seems to me that there is an intriguing disconnect between what we do as consumers and how we respond as businesses.

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