Since March 2021, LinkedIn has decided to limit the number of invitations its members can send drastically. From now on, it is 100 invitations maximum per week instead of 100 per day previously. That’s 85% less, and it has significant consequences for all those who used LinkedIn for their prospecting. To get around the problem, you will find several pieces of advice in the green box below.
- 100 LinkedIn invitations per week to fight against spammers
- Can you still automate your prospecting on LinkedIn?
- What are the alternatives for lead generation on LinkedIn?
If you only have 30 seconds
- LinkedIn has reduced by 85% the number of invitations that you can send. From 100 invitations per day to 100 per week.
- There are alternatives to get around the problem. It would help if you attracted people to create viral content and receive invitations. To do this, you need to understand the virality factors on LinkedIn. Here are several pieces of research that we have published on the subject:
- LinkedIn thus pushes users towards its paying solutions … or towards the creation of value-added content
- To increase the size of your network, you have to respect these 4 golden rules
- Rule n°1: create quality content that makes you want to be read (interesting catchphrase and pictures)
- Rule n°2: create long content to increase the “dwell time“
- Rule n°3: quote a few reactive people to generate commitment quickly
- Rule n°4: don’t use hyperlinks
The imposed change aims to limit the excessive prospecting via automated sending of invitations and pushing members towards paid solutions (InMail). In the last few years, they had developed tools to send mass invitations (up to 100 per day) and canvass them by interposed message once members had accepted the invitation to connect.
This trend of unbridled automation had led to harmful behavior on LinkedIn. Invitations from strangers had multiplied. The automation tools were indeed working in 3 steps:
- extraction of LinkedIn profile lists according to specific criteria (business sector, country, language, …)
- send “personalized” connection invitations to these lists
- triggering of prospecting scenarios (sending a message x days after the invitation has been accepted, and so on)
The consequence was the multiplication of invitations sent by unknown people with false reasons.
Here is an example, among others, that is easy to recognize since the automation tools almost always include the [first name] field, which in my case starts with “Dr.”
If a human had written the invitation, they would not have included my academic title.
The ultimate is still this automated invitation … which advertises automation tools.
Are we dreaming?
Why is your LinkedIn invitation quota limited to 100 per week?
The deployment of the 100-invite limit on LinkedIn is gradual. Not all users are affected. LinkedIn’s algorithm will decide whether to apply the 100-invite/week restriction to you based on various criteria:
- number of pending invitations
- time spent on LinkedIn and activity when you are connected
- connection to automation API’s
If you accumulate suspicious behaviors, you have a greater chance of having the restriction applied.
Drunken strategies don’t work anymore. In the future, it will no longer be possible to use LinkedIn as a directory for mass-mailing. This strategy didn’t pay anyway:
- the return rate was low (less than 1%)
- you ended up with people in your network that you didn’t even know
- the size of the network increased, but the engagement rate decreased, which was detrimental to the visibility
By limiting the number of invitations to 100 per week, LinkedIn forces us to go from an amphibian strategy (I lay 1000 eggs hoping that one will survive) to a mammal strategy (I only give birth to one little one, but I take care of it).
So, the $1m question is: Can you still automate your prospecting on LinkedIn?
The answer is …. no. At least not like before.
Here’s the question on everyone’s mind: how do you generate leads on LinkedIn now that the invitation limit has been increased to 100 per week?
Well, unfortunately for you, you’ll have to forget about your sales approaches of the last century. “Cold calling” on LinkedIn is dead. You will have to move from a “transactional” strategy to a “relational” strategy. In short, you will have to invest your time to develop a relationship.
Forget about pods and buying likes. You may get more views in the short term, but your reach will be polluted by the “fake” profiles that will have liked you in the medium term. Invest in quality instead. Would you rather send 1000 automatic invitations, generate 1 lead, or have 10 qualitative conversations and generate 2 leads?
In summary, LinkedIn forces you to move from an outbound marketing strategy (you go to others) to an inbound marketing strategy (prospects come to you). You will have to increase your reach by increasing the number of your followers. And to do that, you’ll have to create exciting content.
Rule n°1: quality content
Content is King. There is no need to procrastinate on this point. LinkedIn’s algorithm has been optimized to favor content that engages the community. Therefore, the rules of writing apply to increase the “dwell time”: put an engaging image to attract attention, work on your “catchphrase” so that it makes you want to read the rest, and let your text breathe.
Rule n°2: long-form content
The analysis I did in the past on the correlation between engagement and content length showed that lengthy content got more reactions. With the focus on dwell time, a lengthy piece of content is more likely to perform well since it will take longer to read.
Rule n°3: tag people
To provoke engagement and increase the reach of your LinkedIn posts, you need to tag a few people to spark interaction. It’s essential to tag people you know will respond quickly because Linkedin’s algorithm favors posts that generate engagement quickly.
Rule n°4: no hyperlinks
I think that content with hyperlinks on LinkedIn is now significantly penalized. While I reached 10000 views a few months ago with a post linking to my blog, I now notice a significant decrease.Tags: social medias