LinkedIn Upps the Ante on Authenticity

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In the last few months, LinkedIn has implemented some positive changes to increase its value and authenticity. I want to address two of them: the removal of email addresses from “Connections” downloadable data and decreasing the use of automation tools.

Use Emails for Good…Not Spam

Previously when you pulled a download of your LinkedIn connections one of the data points you could access was the email addresses for your entire network. To be honest, I often wondered why this was accessible knowing how hard it is to build good email lists organically. Technically you own your LinkedIn data but at the same time, dumping all your contacts into your email platform is questionable and unfortunately a common practice. Clearly, LinkedIn agreed since they no longer allow you to access your connection’s email addresses in mass form.

This puts the onus on YOU to create authentic communications with your network by posting great content that elicits conversation and/or reaching out to people on a more individual basis through messaging that speaks to them in a meaningful way. Both of these take more time and effort than sending a mass email but they also allow you to earn the trust of your network and build relationships. It’s worth it in the end, I promise!

Bye, Bye Automation

Like most social media platforms, LinkedIn changes its algorithm from time to time. Part of the latest update focuses on detecting and restricting the use of automation tools. Why is this a good thing? There are several companies out there that claim they can provide you 100s of leads on LinkedIn per month. They generally use automation tools that work as a plug in to send hundreds of requests to connect and messages to LinkedIn users. I am not here to talk about the value or success of these companies – they may be very successful in providing leads to their clients. But what they can’t provide is authentic communication. It is pretty easy to spot these bots in my experience. One of my favorite examples of bad LinkedIn bots was a request to connect message one of my clients received addressed to “Dear Mr. or Mrs X” – hello Mr. Robot!

I am pleased to see LinkedIn crack down on automation tools. Users should know they are communicating with people not bots. People build relationships, engage in conversation and speak authentically, not 3rd party bots. The mantra at Connect the Dots Digital is authenticity and value – we connect our clients with the right people who authentically care about what they have to say and to whom they can provide value. That’s how you build relationships and ultimately new leads.

What do you think about these changes to LinkedIn? Will they affect the way you use LinkedIn?

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