According to research carried out by integrated marketing agency, KISS Communications, 42% of professionals will ‘link in’ with anyone and everyone through LinkedIn. The surprising findings go against the whole ethos of LinkedIn which was designed as a way of connecting people once a trusted relationship has been formed. Respondents of KISS’s survey which questioned over 100 professionals from a broad range of industry sectors also found that people were keen to keep friendship and work separate. 20% of professionals would not ‘link in’ with their friends. Suppliers fared little better, with 17% not accepting invitations from service providers. Interestingly, 28% of professionals refuse to link in with people that they meet at networking events. For most professionals, clients are the bedrock of any business but surprisingly 15% of professionals avoided connecting with clients. As a group, clients could provide recommendations and referrals so this finding is hard to understand, says Richard Bland, Director at KISS Communications. He said, “Avoiding connecting with clients seems very short sighted and potentially could be a whole new area that a business could be tapping into. If a client gives a business or an individual a positive recommendation it will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands of professionals. It’s the sort of PR that many organisations would pay handsomely for.” Richard continued, “LinkedIn should really represent your real-world network and for most of us, that does include a wide variety of contacts, including friends, suppliers and clients. The most efficient way of utilising the power of your network is to ensure that you behave on LinkedIn just as you would face-to-face.” The largest single group respondents wanted to avoid completely were recruitment companies or headhunters. 45% said they would ignore requests to connect from this sector. LinkedIn has over 100 million members and is used by 69 of the Fortune 100 companies. To find out how you can get the most out of LinkedIn, read KISS’s top tips by the agency’s PR Director, Justine Smith.