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Why people need to stop being so precious about LinkedIn

Why people need to stop being so precious about LinkedIn

Do you remember when you first joined LinkedIn? If it was near the start, there were a bunch of people who invited you to be on the platform. The person who invited me was influential and someone I respected, so I started to fill in the form. I didn't write too much and didn't think too much about it afterwards. Afterall, I wasn't their target market - or was I?

It was for all intents and purposes a place you could put your CV. As a person who had already established a career as an entrepreneur, I wasn't look for a job, and people didn't pick our company because of my resume, but the company's experience and credentials.

Lead Generation

Fast forward to 6 months ago, LinkedIn was and still is a lead generation tool which at that point allowed you to max out on your connections then export their email addresses to a third party software or CVS file. Clearly, they were keen for the platform to be all business. We used LinkedIn Recruiter for our clients to source leads, until Sales Navigator came along and became the tool of choice.

With 30,000 odd connections, one would assume that I don't need any more to source enough clients to fill my sales pipeline - so why do anything else. But then LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft and all of a sudden people are not seeing your posts, and your business page is all but useless. It is a place-setter that no-one sees even if you have thousands of connections. 

Robots and people

Each day I receive 30 to 50 lead generation emails. Some are by robots, and some are by people who have mostly cut and pasted the content and if they really were focused, might have even put my name at the top. I laugh at the amount of inbox mail that I receive each day from competitors asking if I want marketing services or web development. It is hit and miss and I appreciate that and LinkedIn has made it hard to sort through your own connections to segment them in a way that could be more useful to marketers.

We use LinkedIn solely for lead generation and testing of engagement. Every now and again we will put something on my account that is merely put there to see how many views. We know what works for us and what doesn't, but mostly we use it to test content for clients.

LinkedIn - thank you

Over the years, we probably have made millions of dollars worth of sales out of LinkedIn - so thank you. I appreciate this medium for all that its worth, but marketing is changing and we don't have a choice but to connect with customers in new ways. LinkedIn is changing. They are being everything to everyone and going down a pathway of broadcasting. I find this to be an interesting move and wonder whether it will turn people off (although few of us would dare delete our accounts) or turn us on.

Of course as an experimental marketer, I will be trying out every new feature and seeing if there is a way to use it to the advantage of our clients and at times ourselves.

The catch

But... here's the catch. If you have accepted a connection from someone you don't know (I have of course because I have a lot of connections), then don't get annoyed when they send an email soliciting business or telling you what they do. If they go off LinkedIn and email you, note that you have given them the permission to do so by exposing your email address and connecting with them in the first place. Of course, you need to be able to unsubscribe, but the rules changed on LinkedIn a long time ago, and you and I are the culprits because we started accepting people we don't know, without realizing the real reason this platform was changing its features. It is a sales tool and right now, the most impressive B2B sales tool on the planet today. 

Get on-board and delete people that are annoying or that you will never do business with, but don't be afraid to find out what other companies do, how they sell their products or services or where an individual may be of advantage to you in the future. Remember it is not a 'friends' network, it is a business network. Make your millions and retire or make a few more!

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comment ( 1 )
  • Juliana
    18 Apr 2019

    I only recently joined LinkedIn because of a university assignment I had to do, and I had no idea what LinkedIn was even used for. I thought it was a bit like Facebook but for businesses. However, after consistently using LinkedIn at my internship, I definitely agree that LinkedIn is a great B2B platform to connect with people and help build your brand (whether you're your own business or you're looking for jobs).