1st, 2nd and 3rd level of relationship on LinkedIn, what does it mean?

Published by Amandine on May 20, 2021 5/5 (289 votes)

5 min

Did you think that LinkedIn was just a public place for people to see your resume? You were wrong… Waiting for opportunities to come to you without being active on this social network is the worst idea ever! You’d better think about growing a healthy network: send and accept invitations carefully. By the way, do you really know the LinkedIn 1st 2nd 3rd meaning? Read this and get to know the best tips to network efficiently.

Understand the LinkedIn 1st 2nd 3rd meaning in a heartbeat!

Developing a healthy professional network requires some knowledge about the way LinkedIn works. For example, you must have noticed that you can always read a number next to profile’s name. They are not here to give you a hint on how important the person is in her company! On other social networks, you can sort your “friends” out with your own filters. LinkedIn sorts out the people the same way we do in real life: family is supposedly the closest to you, then your friends, and finally the acquaintances. What is LinkedIn 1st 2nd 3rd meaning?

  • 1st-degree connection: you are directly connected to this person on LinkedIn. To do so, you have accepted or sent an invitation that has been accepted. You belong to each other’s network. By this connection, you can communicate through LinkedIn messaging and see their news in your feed.
  • 2nd-degree connection: these people do not belong directly to your professional network. They are “friends of friends”. Your 1st-degree connections are directly connected to them. You can send them an InMail if you subscribed to Premium, but can’t send them messages otherwise. However, you still can connect to them so they become 1st-degree connections!
  • 3rd-degree connection or 3rd and +: these people are 2nd-degree contact’s connections. That means that you have fewer chances to get to know them directly. You still can send then InMails, though. 

In spite of this social distance, is it still possible to connect with them? Do you even need to? Does it sound relevant to try to connect regardless of the level on LinkedIn connections? Keep on reading to get answers.

Should you try to reach directly 3rd-degree connections?

On LinkedIn, your #1 priority should be to take care and strengthen your 1st-degree connection and then to explore a bit further to see which of your 2nd-degree connections could get you more opportunities. What about 3rd-degree connections? Are they really too far from us to try to reach out? 

Identify 3 types of 3rd-degree connections

  • They simply don’t belong to anyone’s network around you. Your 1st-degree contacts nor your 2nd-degree friends know them. In this case, you will see them as “LinkedIn members”. You may have a few hints on their job, but not much more. You can’t contact them unless you can afford to send InMails.
  • They can be part of your 2nd-degree contacts’ connections. Here is a nice tip to know if you can connect with them: if you see their complete surname on their profile, go for it, send your invitation right away (if the person looks professionally interesting). If you can just see the first letter of their surname, you can try sending an InMail, but you won’t be able to connect directly.

The best tip to get closer to your 3rd-degree contacts

Generally speaking, growing up and discovering implies getting out of our comfort zone and explore unknown fields. Following this logic on LinkedIn pushes you to first send an invitation to 3rd-degree connections to grow your professional network. Don’t fall in that trap! It sounds tempting, but we have a better solution for you.

We wouldn’t recommend this strategy to prospect on LinkedIn. Of course, if you notice a particularly interesting 3rd-degree connection you can invite, do it. However, we’d rather advise you to strengthen first your 1st and 2nd-degree connections’ relationship before thinking of growing your network… Even if you can balance different moves according to your prospection strategy!

LinkedIn 1st 2nd 3rd meaning is to encourage you to actually know your contacts before looking out for new friends! If you are really eager to expand your network, invite your 2nd-degree contacts to connect and get in your direct network. They will become 1st-degree connections, and guess what? Their 1st-degree contacts will become your 2nd-degree connections… It will get easier to contact them in the future!

How to prospect efficiently taking into account the LinkedIn 1st 2nd 3rd criteria?

You could think that automation software like ProspectIn is just here to add more and more contacts, regardless of your professional strategy. Our goal is, on the contrary, to automatize the most time-consuming tasks to allow you to actually bond with your prospects. Let us prove it browsing our selection of smart scenarios. Also, keep in mind that you can send automated friendly messages through our services!

Try us: a simple campaign on your 2nd-degree connections could open unsuspected doors! Try to visit their profile, they might be curious enough to visit you in return and maybe send you an invitation… If you accept, you would enter their network as a 1st-degree connection and be closer to your previous 3rd-degree connections. All these people could become potential and interesting prospects, couldn’t they?

How to set an efficient prospection campaign on your 2nd-degree contacts? First, search by filters who are your 2nd-degree connections. Then click on ProspectIn icon on your Chrome browser, choose how many profiles you’d like to target, and, back on ProspectIn interface, set up campaigns: you can visit them or invite them straight away.

However, your best option would be to include them all in a scenario. Start by paying their profile a visit, wait a few days before inviting them, and welcome them with a friendly and personalized message! At the end of the scenario, the people who didn’t react to any of your moves will get out of your scenario, so that you can focus of those fresh new prospects!

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