What Are LinkedIn’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Connections?
LinkedIn is unmatched when it comes to building your network. The strength of your network can mark the difference in your success.
However, the best way to get all of LinkedIn’s benefits is to understand all its details—specifically, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree connections.
LinkedIn Connection Categories: Definitions and Strategies
1st-Degree Connections and Your Direct Network on LinkedIn
1st-degree connections are individuals you have directly connected with on the platform.
To manage and expand your direct network effectively, it's essential to be strategic and intentional.
How to connect and foster 1st-degree connections
Begin by connecting with colleagues, industry peers, and professionals you've met at events. Personalize your connection requests to increase acceptance rates and lay the groundwork for meaningful interactions.
We’ll leave you with the 5 best templates for your cold messages ⬇️
2nd-Degree Connections and How to Leverage them
One step removed from your immediate circle is the 2nd-degree connections.
These individuals are connected to your 1st-degree connections and represent a large network of potential contacts that can be leveraged to extend your professional reach.
Bridge role of 2nd-Degree LinkedIn Connections: Recognizing the value of these connections is crucial as they can serve as bridges to new opportunities and introductions to other professionals.
How to reach out to 2nd-degree connections without being overbearing: The key is subtlety and mutual benefit. Request introductions through mutual connections or engage with their content to naturally build rapport before reaching out directly.
Don’t forget that you won’t be able to message your 2nd and 3rd degree connections, as your are not connected with them yet.
You can either send a connection request or use InMail!
3rd-Degree Connections and their potential
3rd-degree connections are individuals who are connected to your 2nd-degree connections.
While more distant, they can still play a role in expanding your network further.
The impact of 3rd-degree connections within your LinkedIn Network: Although they are the outermost layer of your direct network, 3rd-degree connections can significantly extend your reach and uncover opportunities that may not be accessible otherwise.
How to contact 3rd-degree connections: Use LinkedIn's introduction features or join common groups to facilitate initial contact. Engage thoughtfully with their content to establish a connection before sending a direct message.
Leverage LinkedIn's Algorithm for Optimal Networking
Connection presentation on LinkedIn
LinkedIn's algorithm takes into account shared interests, mutual connections, work history, and group memberships to suggest potential new 1st-degree connections.
With 2nd and 3rd degree connections you will see an icon stating what degree the connection is, and you will be able to get closer to them by using the “Connect” or “Follow” buttons.
Tailored content-sharing strategies for different LinkedIn connection levels
Content sharing on LinkedIn should be tailored to resonate with different tiers of connections.
Check out this video and start writing viral posts! ⬇️
What appeals to a 1st-degree connection might differ from content that would engage a 2nd or 3rd-degree connection.
For 1st-degree connections, share updates and content that reinforce your professional relationship and common interests.
When targeting 2nd-degree connections, consider content that showcases your expertise and encourages your mutual connections to engage, thereby increasing visibility.
For 3rd-degree connections, broader industry insights and thought leadership pieces can position you as a knowledgeable figure in your field.
Setting LinkedIn profile privacy preferences
Privacy settings on LinkedIn can significantly affect your networking potential. A well-calibrated privacy setting ensures that you are open to networking opportunities while maintaining control over your personal information.
Adjust your profile viewing options to determine how you appear to others when you visit their profiles, which can affect their likelihood of reciprocating the visit.
Consider what personal information you're comfortable sharing with your network and with LinkedIn members outside your connections.
LinkedIn’s Networking Protocols
Beyond the 3rd-degree connections
Those connections who lie beyond your 3rd-degree connections are professionals who don't fall within your immediate circles but can be valuable additions to your network.
Use LinkedIn's search and content engagement to discover and connect with professionals outside of your current network reach.
Join LinkedIn groups and participate in discussions to bridge the gap to these "Out of Network" individuals.