As a networking tool, LinkedIn is excellent for connecting and starting conversations with peers. The only downside is how it’s being used for sales.
There are apps and companies that exist to automate LinkedIn activities such as bulk messaging, sending connection requests, viewing profiles, and keeping an eye on CRM. Blinked is a company that claims to be able to ‘take your LinkedIn marketing to the next level’ with these methods.
The apps that exist are usually in the form of Google Chrome extensions, that are simple and inexpensive. Take the Leonard plugin for example. Using Leonard, users can send multiple personalised connection requests in minutes, taking away the hassle of sending individual connection messages. Leonard also automates the ‘profile visit’ process as well. You can use it to automatically visit other LinkedIn profiles which will give them a notification.
Leonard also has a CRM function where you can manage connections and run different LinkedIn campaigns to keep your network engaged with you. It also helps collect and analyse data for you so you can understand engagement patterns
It’s crucial to note that all add-ons and apps like this break the LinkedIn user agreement:
‘We don’t permit the use of any third party software, including “crawlers”, bots, browser plug-ins, or browser extensions (also called “add-ons”), that scrapes, modifies the appearance of, or automates activity on LinkedIn’s website.’
LinkedIn is constantly trying to prevent this by making it difficult for the apps to gain access, and suspending users that are found to be using the apps on the platform.
Why personalisation is pertinent
As well as breaking the user agreement, it’s actually quite a frowned upon way to reach out to people. It’s particularly disappointing if you know you’ve been targeted this way too.
Users have been able to get round the %FIRSTNAME% macro by adding an emoji where their first name should be. Meaning that instead of receiving a message with their first name, it will be addressed to their choice of emoji.
The primary purpose of LinkedIn is person to person relationship building and we would like to think that the connections we obtain are for genuine purposes, and not just part of a company’s numbers game. Without that human touch, we feel very disconnected from the company and it could have an impact on how you view a company as a whole.
We are navigating through difficult times, and a sensitive touch is needed, particularly if you are becoming reliant on building relationships to grow your business. Perhaps it’s time to have a rethink about how you approach new biz – is there a more creative, personalised route?
Start by narrowing down targets for outreach. Mass messages come across as spam and people just don’t have time to read them. If you narrow down targets, you have more scope to research, personalise, and target them properly. You’ll find that it’s more productive in the long-term.
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