What is LinkedIn Automation and Why Does it Matter?
Over 84% of C-level B2B buyers are influenced by social media when considering a purchase, so social engagement is as important as ever. This trend has not gone unnoticed and in the past few years, a bunch of third-party apps have emerged to automate LinkedIn lead generation or social selling.
Simply because marketers who use LinkedIn automation tools feel that the rewards outweigh the risks. That’s why B2B growth hackers, sales, business development, and marketing professionals are increasingly using and recommending automation tools.
Unsafe use of LinkedIn automation tools can be risky
LinkedIn automation apps are designed to automate activities such as sending connection invites, endorsing connections, viewing profiles, and bulk messaging. Some tools also allow downloading of profiles and contact lists.
Does LinkedIn care about discouraging the use of automation tools? We can make the case that these apps actually encourage user engagement but LinkedIn is cautious about automation apps when they encourage spam or undermine the integrity of the platform by automating tasks that were designed to promote digital networking by humans. Also, such tools in some way they eat into LinkedIn revenues. That’s why LinkedIn may restrict your account if they can detect that you are using automation.
In this post, we’ll explain how you can mitigate the risk of getting your LinkedIn account restricted and safely use Linkedin automation. We provide you with 12 safety tips to follow as best practices for using automation.
Best Practices for Safe LinkedIn Automation
- LinkedIn profile – Age and connections are important
Don’t start using automation on a Linkedin profile you just created. Give it some time. Build at least a hundred 1st level connections before you start using automation on that profile. Use the “people you may know” feature to build your network by connecting with people.
- Scale Up Slowly
Start slow with automation and scale up gradually. Instead of starting by configuring your automation tool to send 100 invites/day, it is recommended that you start slow – maybe with just 20-30 invites per day. Develop a pattern of network growth for a few days and then scale up 50, 75, 100 invites or messages a day. Use a tool with inbuilt safety limits that can cap your automation activities if you accidentally exceed the usage limits.
- Avoid Simultaneous Logins from Multiple Locations.
Avoid accessing your LinkedIn account from multiple locations and devices while the automation is active. Make sure that you only access your LinkedIn account from trusted devices and avoid logging in from multiple devices simultaneously (ex: laptop and mobile) while the automation software is active.
- Simulate Human Behavior
Overactive accounts will also prompt suspicion that your LinkedIn account is using automation. Too many actions in a short period will increase the chances of your account getting flagged for possible automation.
avoid posting/sharing too much content on LinkedIn or large numbers of greetings and comments in a short time.
It is not possible for a human to send invites and post comments at the same time. So try and apply common sense in thinking about how many activities a human user can perform and if your activity is over that threshold.
Replying to incoming messages is OKAY. In fact, look for automation tools offering inbox and reply management from within the tool. That way you will not need to log in to LinkedIn to check your messages and send replies.
- Avoid Saving Multiple Searches
Many LinkedIn automation tools allow you to create and save contact lists. These tools crawl the data from LinkedIn based on your search parameters and save the search results as lists. That means the crawler bot has to visit each contact profile programmatically. LinkedIn has a commercial use limit in place and can detect if there is unusual activity.
Limit yourself to saving a single list of 1000 contacts a day if you are a free LinkedIn member. If you have a LinkedIn premium subscription, you can save a list of 2500 contacts a day. Saving multiple searches simultaneously can be detected as if you are scraping the data. Create lists for the purpose of running lead generation campaigns and not for scraping data from LinkedIn.
- Avoid Getting Restricted from Sending Invitations.
LinkedIn can temporarily restrict your account if you have invited a lot of people who do not accept your invite, or clicked to report that they don’t know you. Add a personalized message with your invitation to the recipient to explain how they can benefit from your connection. It is very important to build credibility with an interesting profile.
Add a profile photo and a meaningful headline with a summary that can clearly say how you can help your prospects. This will increase the trust of your audience. Invite and message only people who will really benefit from your products and services. Refine your search and include only relevant people.
Select an automation tool that offers you features like message personalization, filtering the saved lists, tagging, deleting, blacklisting contacts, and monitoring your connect rate.
- Withdraw Pending Invites
LinkedIn sees a lot of unaccepted invites as a sign that you are inviting people whom you do not know. And, that is a violation of their terms. There is a lot of misinformation on the internet regarding a safe number of pending invites. So far, LinkedIn has not published such an official number. It is best to delete invites that have been pending for more than 30 or 45 days.
If someone has not accepted your invite in 30 or 45 days, chances are they will not accept your invite. Select an automation tool that offers the ability to automatically withdraw pending invites based on the number of days it has been pending. Some tools also give you the ability to bulk withdraw pending invites. Such a feature can come in handy as LinkedIn does not offer a bulk withdrawal feature.
- Get a LinkedIn Premium Subscription
Whether or not you use automation, LinkedIn Premium membership has a number of benefits for sales prospecting. Advanced search filters are an excellent way to filter and target prospects much more accurately and ensure that you reach out to relevant people.
Premium members get higher commercial use limits for sending messages and InMail, they can view up to 2500 contacts per search instead of only 1000, among other benefits. LinkedIn also seems to be more liberal with premium members.
- Do Not Use Browser Extension based LinkedIn Automation Apps
In early 2020, LinkedIn cracked down on a host of automation apps that operated as Google Chrome extensions. Their usage can be easily detected by LinkedIn. Instead, we recommend that you use a cloud-based automation service that takes the safety of your LinkedIn account very seriously.
- Use Software that Randomizes Campaign Actions
Many LinkedIn automation software apps send invites and messages at preset time intervals. Some automation apps can mimic human behavior – i.e. they can send invites and messages at random time intervals just as a real person would do. Random delays between actions can not be picked up as patterns of robotic behavior and are hence difficult to detect.
- Use Automation Tools that Provide a Dedicated IP Address
Having a dedicated IP address from where the software accesses your LinkedIn account to send invites and messages is extremely helpful in avoiding detection. It ensures that the bot always logs in from the same IP address. Use automation software that assigns you a dedicated country-based IP address closest to the location from where you access your Linkedin account.
- Don’t be Aggressive With Automation
It does not pay to be overly aggressive with LinkedIn automation campaigns. Do not run campaigns 7 days a week. We recommend running automation 5 days a week and not more than 8 hours each day. Make sure you have optimized your campaigns for sensible daily quotas and use software that provides automatic daily timeouts from automation.
Safe LinkedIn Automation Needs a Safe Software
Relationships matter more than ever before and to scale your LinkedIn social selling, you are going to need to develop a well-calibrated automation approach. A right tool can help automate the relationship-building process with hundreds of prospects in one go, and minimize the risks of getting restricted.
Automation tools with a safety-first approach like We-Connect offer all of the above the safety and productivity features you need. You can take a 14-day free trial and explore the safety features of the service right now.