3 LinkedIn Spam Risks and How to Avoid Them

LinkedIn Spam

Think about this, we just connected on LinkedIn but does this mean  you have permission to add me to your mailing list?  Have I actually opted in?

The answer is no.  In order to subscribe I need to complete your opt-in form, or tell you I want to subscribe.

On LinkedIn I am your connection, not a subscriber of your list.

Do you realise that when you use LinkedIn the wrong way, that you are seriously damaging your brand?

LinkedIn is a fabulous tool you can use to be recognised, remembered and recommended – when used the right way. It doesn’t come with a guidebook for your business or situation, and this is where we come it.

LinkedIn isn’t a 1-way distribution channel designed to collect and spam connections.

For the best results from LinkedIn focus on building relationships.  Every time you connect and jump into sales mode, you are potentially being seen as that sleazy door-to-door salesman or a viking It is not a push marketing tool, and no one wants to be seen as spammy, so don’t abuse it by forgetting the ‘social’ component.  If you want to be a viking, focus on the social aspects of a viking, the community building and collaboration.

LinkedIn Spam

How are you treating your connections on LinkedIn?  Here are 3 behaviours to avoid;

1. Pushing your latest offer – Risk:  MEDIUM

Your Profile is not just about you. It is about connecting to your ideal client, and engaging them in conversation in order to build a relationship.  Shouting about yourself in your LinkedIn updates and not engaging in two-way conversation, will mean you miss opportunities to turn your contacts into warm leads, and potential clients. Start with a strong understanding of who your ideal client is, and what their problems are.

2. Treating LinkedIn as a Mailing List Risk:  MEDIUM

Being connected does not give you the green light to send bulk messages via LinkedIn messages. There is nothing wrong with a personal message, but make it personal, conversational and relevant to the receiver.  A group message sent via third party tools, that smells like a spam will put people off, especially if you start doing it often.  How can you provide valuable problem solving information to compel them to want join your mailing list?

Greg Savage says: “don’t spam your connections with marketing material, requests to read your blog or any other self-serving communication. I delete people who are using their LinkedIn list purely to sell aggressively. That’s not what it’s for.

In fact, the LinkedIn’s User Agreement has a Do’s and Don’t section, that states;

“You agree that you will: Comply with all applicable laws, including, without limitation, privacy laws, intellectual property laws, anti-spam laws, export control laws, tax laws, and regulatory requirements;

You agree that you will not:  Send or post any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any form of solicitation unauthorized by LinkedIn.”

3. Exporting LinkedIn contacts for your Mailing List – Risk:  HIGH
This isn’t just about bad etiquette, it is about legal risks.  Be aware of the  Spam Act, and the fact that there are penalties for breaching it.  The Export function is great to back up your contacts, but should never be used to pull the contacts into a marketing list that they haven’t opted into.  Emails should have an unsubscribe link plus include a reason why I am on your list.  Using a reason such as; “You are receiving this email because we recently connected on LinkedIn” on your email does not demonstrate a legitimate reason for me being on your list.  It demonstrates a lack of understanding of spam laws and communication etiquette, in addition to lacking understanding of how to use LinkedIn.
Instead, invite people to join your list with a compelling reason rather than making the decision for them.
Listen to LinkedIn specialist Viveka von Rosen’s podcast which covers this very topic.  (Jump to 5 minutes 50 for the discussion).

Don’t be an accidental LinkedIn Spammer and if you find yourself considering acting spammy – Stop It! Let’s keep LinkedIn a spam-free zone and keep the platform relevant.

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