LinkedIn is changing in 2021, and that means it’s time to adjust. To successfully social sell via LinkedIn this year, you’ll need to understand the new changes and best practices. Furthermore, there will be key security considerations to implement this year to ensure your account will not get banned.
Today, we’ll share the best ways to keep your LinkedIn account secure and profitable this year.
LinkedIn Moved the Cheese
One of the previously most-used strategies for LinkedIn social selling was messaging. LinkedIn users formerly used messages for cold and warm leads, reaching out to current and potential clients. Now, it’s time for a change. We must do better than messaging. Changes over the last few months have made it clear that LinkedIn has “moved the cheese.” If you rely on connecting and sending messages for your strategy, the best time to change was really two years ago, but the next best time is today.
Why the LinkedIn Changes?
The proverbial “moving of the cheese” has been a long time coming. Spam chrome apps and other automation tools gained popularity for LinkedIn messages. Unfortunately, that’s driven salespeople to send thousands of invites with a message and then receive a strain of salesy messages beyond that. The lazy majority used a churn and burn connection funnel without creating value. For many, this felt like it was working, and that’s why people continued doing it.
Now, we’ve got to change. The cheese has been moved. There has been a definite change in the landscape over the last few years. LinkedIn looks drastically different than it did even a short time ago.
Additionally, the pandemic has certainly played a role. More people were forced to remote remotely, which may not be ideal for everyone. This has been stressful for individuals as well as businesses in several industries. The uncertainty and massive change have led to a “zero tolerance” culture. People are fed up with the spammy messages and constant sales pitches.
What is LinkedIn Doing?
All of the above have created the perfect storm for LinkedIn changes, which may already affect some of you.
Here’s what they’re doing about it:
- Email restrictions when connecting. You must enter the email address to connect with someone. There are some ways around this that we’ve already been using.
- Weekly invite limit. More recently, we’ve seen the weekly invite limit of about 100-200 invites. This is bad news for those sending a lot of invites. We’ve endorsed sending around 40-50 per day, but if you based your strategy on 100 per day, you are now limited to 20% of that maximum. There’s nothing we can do to get around this limit. It’s time to imagine a world where you can only send 100 invites a week.
- Spam message box. There’s a filter on LinkedIn messages, and LinkedIn has started putting more messages in there. They use similar filters as email programs use, like salesy words. What’s new for 2021 is user-driven spam reports. LinkedIn is putting it in the hands of users to determine if the messages are wanted. If you are getting labeled as spam by many people, it certainly cannot be good and may create a restriction. The bottom line is that you must avoid being flagged as spam.
If you rely primarily on a new connection message sequence, you can expect a 50% decrease in appointments. The new changes also mean that the risk of a ban will be significantly higher by the end of 2021.
What You Can Do About the LinkedIn Changes
Now is the time to do something about it. The LinkedIn changes will not be the end of the world, as long as you prepare for it. The landscape will always change, the key is to adjust.
So, what can you do about it?
- Be very specific about your targeting. Be strategic about who you want to connect with on an industry-level, perhaps focusing on those who may be in a more positive place. Include clever personalisation, and evaluate if it makes sense to automate messages anymore. If you’re limited to 100 messages a week, it may make more sense to put your resources into specific targeting and personal invitations.
- Loom videos. Again, make sure they are personal.
- DO NOT pitch in the invite. That is how you will get reported as spam.
- Warm-up people before sending the invite. View the profile or engage prior to sending invites. With a profile view, we see an 80-90% acceptance rate, compared with the 15-40% without.
- Gather the email data if prompted.
- Avoid LinkedIn people who may be offended by your attempts to connect.
- Less is more. Sending up to 20 invites per day can be highly effective.
Direct Messaging Best Practices
- Send “chats” not “emails”. LinkedIn messages are NOT emails, don’t just reuse your email content. Chat messages are short, succinct messages that outperform formal email-like messages.
- Use Spintax to ensure variation in your messages. Don’t send the exact same message over and over, it will trigger LinkedIn spam algorithms.
- Laser target your messages to individuals.
- Hyper personalise your messages. Can you create a message very specific to their industry or role?
- Add value to every message. Make the message about the other person.
- Attract inbound with a solid content strategy.
- Gain visibility with our Post Parties.
- Post your high-quality content consistently. One great resource for content ideas is our Daily Dose email. Sign up for free.
- Develop an ecosystem of products that attract people off LinkedIn quickly.
- Strategic commenting. Use the best practices to generate appointments and strengthen connections as well.
Connect with the people in your current network who may be ready to do business with you now. Nurture your current “acres of diamonds” via the following.
- Use LinkedIn notifications for birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
- Do quarterly catch ups and a monthly update for some segments. They don’t need to be salesy.
- Endorsements and post likes.
Outside of LinkedIn
- Implement strategies to get people off of LinkedIn as quickly as possible.
- Add a LinkedIn profile field to your opt-in forms to connect with those customers. When someone is already a customer, the acceptance rate will be sky-high.
- Highlight LinkedIn links on your website, emails, and landing pages. This brings qualified people in your network, but it also bolsters your credibility on LinkedIn.
- Remarketing Pixels. Remarket customers from Facebook and other platforms.
- Develop your email strategy. How are you keeping people warm and adding value? We’ve done this with the Daily Dose.
There’s stuff you can do, but it’s important to get started now. Within a few months, big changes will shift the LinkedIn landscape. Being proactive is essential for success on LinkedIn. Furthermore, don’t rely solely on LinkedIn, it’s like having one client. Businesses cannot succeed with just one client. Use a mix of marketing sources.
Even so, the pandemic will eventually go away, which will lead to a cultural shift. LinkedIn will settle into it’s new normal, and people will be more tolerant of outreach. The changes will have positive effects, like clearing the house of cheap scammers, and this provides you with an opportunity to stand out and build an asset from your network.