Three reasons random invites fail, and why you should be worried if they succeed…
This blog is prompted by a noted increase in the number of random invite connections received on LinkedIn this month. I love connecting with new people, but some basics can be identified which seem to offer a universal truth.
visibility | behaviour | trust
I conclude this is principally a question of trust. But this connects to visibility, and to behaviour, with both necessarily increased if trust is to be found.
v | b | trust
Random invites. Context free and no prior history. Unless of course they can find you off-guard, but that is intent (i.e., behavioural) which should be inviting more than distrust because of the hidden truth that reveals (i.e., visibility).
v | behaviour | t
This is the behaviour of someone in a rush; or grouping you with many others; or hiding their intentions, concealing their real identity, and/or attempting to appeal to vanity where the less information offered is enabling more directed distraction. As such invites are also more likely part of a cluster, this offered more indicators that the invitation is intended for spamming or farming or otherwise hidden intent (i.e., purposeful low visibility)
visibility | b | t
This random invite is offering minimal visibility. With no note to bring to attention toward the intent of the invite. Less information, offering more uncertainty. Or targeted information without intended subterfuge (i.e., negative behaviour). Perhaps this is overtly using a profile title or photo image to attempt to skip past checks. Note how much more suspicious it is when with minimal extra effort you reveal there is limited information in the profile to offer context.
These are three categories to consider why random invites fail. Low trust, reinforced by minimal information or positive action.
The intentional deceit. And so what of covert attempts to overcome these signals? When might these random invites succeed? How about appealing to that covert side of our own behaviour, using that same overtly visible shallowness against us. Why might that work? I think deep down, we all know. It’s the means to override our more attuned sense of when to trust. Am I alone in being doubly suspicious when an unnecessarily dressed up face wants to say hello? Too right, I am. And if you are selling yourself by your image, that’s precisely the unsaid term I have just used. Without apology. Without limitation to ones preferences or bias. There are plenty doing this from all sides. These seem to me the most common-sense flags to avoid the many fake accounts that overtly play this game.
Examples of invite warning signs:
- reliance upon shallow appeal (e.g., photo, title, pod followership)
- offering little in way of content or prior chat
- nothing relatable in profiles
- industry or geography that seems completely left field
The interaction of visibility | behaviour | trust
So let me finally return to that telling lack of a note. That should say plenty. Why would you think someone is going to accept an invitation without a note that has something that connects you?
Conversely, I do actually send invitations without a note. But only because prior discussion has made that blatantly unnecessary. But then that’s increased trust, built via prior visibility and relatable behaviours.
Trust is built upon these principles, but should also be where it is lost…