Is it just me or does anyone else find LinkedIn’s little standard Happy Birthday/Congrats on the Work anniversary and even the Thanks, Not Sure and Thumbs Up emoji greetings on messages really impersonal? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had ‘Congratulations’ messages from people I barely know that don’t actually give me a clue as to what I’m being congratulated on – all using the same standard wording, shortening congratulations to ‘congrats’ as if it came from my bezzie mate. It doesn’t give me a warm and fuzzy feeling because they remembered; it comes across as insincere because it’s the only communication I ever receive from them.
Automation is a huge thing these days and it certainly has its place, particularly in my own field of marketing, but it has to be relevant and appropriate and isn’t LinkedIn supposed to be about building relationships rather than facilitating annual spamming?
That’s not to say you can’t make it personal of course. When LinkedIn prompts you to congratulate someone, it opens up a message window and you can change that wording to whatever you want. If you really want to send me good wishes, make it sound like you mean it: look at what the anniversary is (because as a freelancer I have a range of roles and it could be any one of them!) and make a relevant comment. How about ‘I see you’ve been freelance for X years, how has your business changed over that time?’ or ‘Congratulations for retaining X client for 5 years, what’s the secret of growing that relationship?’ – it may sound a little cheesy but at least it shows you’ve done more than clicking a couple of buttons.
We’re all busy and reaching out and taking the time to engage in conversations that aren’t directly linked to a work opportunity can be difficult to fit in but I’d rather have no contact at all than a computer generated empty sentiment.
Just me? [insert thumbs down and sad face emoji]