1st, 2nd and 3rd LinkedIn Level of Contacts, What Does it Mean?

Join over 5400 readers of the Supernova newsletter ☄️

1 click unsubscribe at any time

Did you think that LinkedIn company was just a public place for people to see your resumes? You were wrong… By the way, do you really know what the LinkedIn level of contacts means? 🔍

Waiting for opportunities to come to you without being active on this professional social network is the worst idea ever! You’d better think about growing a healthy social-networking: send and accept invitations carefully. Building a relevant professional networking starts with understanding who are the other users on LinkedIn are and how to connect with your chosen ones, the ones that stand-out from the crowd. 🤗

Read this article and get to know the best tips to network efficiently. 👇


LinkedIn Level of Contacts = 1st, 2nd, 3rd level Meaning !

Developing a healthy professional network requires some knowledge about the way LinkedIn level of contacts works. For example, you must have noticed that you can always read a number next to a profile’s name. They are not here to give you a hint on how important the person is in her company! 🥸


On other networking site, 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, and do lead gen via LinkedIn. To do so, you have accepted or sent an invitation to connect that has been accepted. You belong to each other’s social networks. 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 to their inbox otherwise. However, you’d still like to 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 messages via InMails, though.


In spite of this social distance, is it still possible to connect with the 3rd level? Do you even need to? Does it sound relevant to try to connect regardless of the level of LinkedIn connections? Keep on reading to get answers. 👇


LinkedIn Connections Explained: How to Know my Degree in LinkedIn?

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 to them? 🙈

To highlight this, we can 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 title, but not much more. Reaching out to them via email message is not permitted 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 LinkedIn profile, go for it, send your invites right away (if a salesperson looks professionally interesting, for example). 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.


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 a connection request 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 intriguing 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 B2b prospecting plan! 🔔

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! 🤝


Conclusion: How to Prospect Efficiently Taking into Account the LinkedIn Level of Contacts?

You could think that automation software like Waalaxy, 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 social media profile page, 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 customers and interesting prospects, couldn’t they? 🧲

How to create your efficient prospection campaign on your 2nd-degree contacts? 🤔 First, try to search results by filters who are your 2nd-degree connections. Then proceed to click on Waalaxy icon on your Chrome browser, choose how many profiles you’d like to add to your target audience, and, back on Waalaxy CRM interface, you can set up email 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 personal 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 on those fresh new prospects! 🎣

Discover Waalaxy 🪐



FAQ of the article

What is 1st, 2nd and 3rd level on LinkedIn?

On the social media platform LinkedIn, the basic type of connection is a person with the contact information you know personally and trust on a professional level. Once you connect with them on LinkedIn, you are considered a 1st level relationship. Additionally, people who are connections of people in your network are considered 2nd level, and finally if you have no connections in common, that person will be considered 3rd degree or higher. 🥵


What is the difference between relationship and contact on LinkedIn?

A contact is someone to whom you have sent an invitation, and to whom you can customize your message. You can save people to your contacts by syncing contacts from other sources. 🔍

A connection is a contact to whom you have a 1st degree connection. You can connect with someone by accepting an invitation from them or when they accept an invitation you sent. 📨 While all connections are recorded on your LinkedIn contact list, not all contacts are 1st degree connections.

If you don’t know someone’s personal information like their email address or phone number, and you weren’t a colleague or classmate in the past, then you can contact new members on LinkedIn by using an InMail (or not 🤫).


Why can’t I see my 3rd degree in LinkedIn?

When you see the “LinkedIn Member (Out of Network)” pop-up – it means the LinkedIn members who fall outside the categories listed above. Some fields of profiles out of your network have limited visibility depending on their Privacy Settings, but you can build your network with other valuable connections to see more social profile. If the option is available, you can also send them a connection message to introduce yourself. 😉


There you have it, now you know what LinkedIn level of contacts means! 🤗



Want to go further?

Do you know what is generational marketing? It’s a classification of births, established on the basis of the particularities, expectations


The term FOMO (or “Fear Of Missing Out”) describes the anxiety you feel when you’re left out of a social


If you’re wondering how to buy followers on Instagram, you’ve come to the right place. It has become a practice


Get the ultimate e-book for multi-channel prospecting 📨

7 examples of successful prospecting messages to boost the response rates of your prospecting campaigns.