Why You Shouldn’t Message Me On LinkedIn

Last week I was out of the office all week.  Two weeks earlier I was out for an entire week.  I was at camps with my kids and really didn’t have access to anything online.

I dutifully set up my “out of office” messages in my two main email systems, knowing that anyone who sent me an email would have known that I would take a few days to get back to them.  Unfortunately, I got a number of messages through LinkedIn’s messaging system… and those people didn’t get any message to let them know I was unavailable.

They just got radio silence.  Sounds an awful lot like being ignored.  Or that I don’t care to respond.

LinkedIn is cool, for sure.  But it’s not the only tool you should use.  Use email, or the phone, but don’t solely message people through LinkedIn.

If you don’t know someone’s email address, GET IT.  If you have it, USE IT.

The other reason I suggest you don’t use LinkedIn for primary or important messaging (if you aren’t doing important messaging, don’t send the message!) is because messages from LinkedIn don’t get in front of me very often.  A while back Google (Gmail) decided they needed to sift my email into three groups (they could have just named tabs 2 and 3 SPAM, right?):


Guess where I spend most of my time?

The “Primary” box.

Guess where your LinkedIn message goes?

NOT the “Primary” box.

Don’t use Gmail, so that’s not an issue?  I suggest you check out your spam or junk folder, and see how many LinkedIn messages are in there.  That should be proof enough that you shouldn’t depend on LinkedIn for sending messages.

Want to get on my radar?  EMAIL ME directly.

Sending me a message through LinkedIn is a gamble.

How about you?

9 thoughts on “Why You Shouldn’t Message Me On LinkedIn”

  1. Do you find that a lot of your outgoing email sent via Gmail bounces back to you undelivered? I find that happening quite often. Therefore, that is a reason to send messages via LinkedIn…if you happen to have the connection.

  2. Yes, email sent through LinkedIn is a gamble.

    I sent out through LinkedIn invitations for my departure party in San Francisco. Months later in Wenzhou, China as a professor, I’m receiving regrets for missing the party, because the message was just now read.

  3. “If you don’t know someone’s email address, GET IT. If you have it, USE IT.”

    Jason, I totally agree! I actually find it annoying to get a LinkedIn (or Facebook) message from people who already have my email address. If people follow your LI Profile advice, then their email address is already available on their profile, so there is no need to force people to go into LI just to reply to your message! Messages through LI make extra work for the responder…and if you are hoping to get a response…why would you make it harder for the other party to do so?

    I respond to those messages (assuming I care enough to bother) by saying something like…”I much prefer to use email correspondence outside of social media websites so for future communications, please just send me a direct email”.

    Thank you for making this point!

  4. Thanks Valerie… it’s been on my mind for a few years, but it really hit home when I was gone for a couple of weeks and had some messages that people were waiting for a reply to… 🙂

  5. Hi, Jason.

    I totally agree with you. First, personal email is a lot more private. Not everyone needs to look at all correspondence. LinkedIn is great for sharing ideas, but not for personal correspondence.

  6. My sentiments exactly, Jason! I do my best to keep up with social media messages, but when I’m under a time-crunch (which is always, actually 😉 I prioritize my primary inbox.

    More than likely, you’ll hear back from me pretty quickly with a LinkedIn message, but it’s a bit of a gamble, especially if you send it on the weekend. Why risk your message falling through the cracks? Send an email or pick up the phone and call me.

    Also, follow up if you don’t hear back. People are busy and may need a gentle nudge to reply. I don’t take offense if I’m sent a “Did you see this?” email. I’m grateful the person understood that I was busy and might need a reminder.

    Thanks for the great post!

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