Using automation safely on LinkedIn

There have been quite a few posts doing the rounds on social media recently concerning warning emails and the threat of bans on LinkedIn. So, you might be wondering whether you should rush out and uninstall your favourite LinkedIn extension? I’ve even heard of one LinkedIn automation company that is telling people not to use their extension for 3 days. Personally, I think that’s ridiculous!

There is no reason to stop using Dux-Soup as long as you are using it responsibly.

And we haven’t had any customer support calls regarding specific warnings about Dux-Soup. In this blog, we will tell you how to minimise your risk of getting into trouble on LinkedIn.

Let’s start by addressing a major myth associated with these recent negative comments: LinkedIn has slipped out a ‘stealth’ update which is targeting people using third-party extensions.

The reality is that LinkedIn changes on an almost weekly basis. They continuously update their algorithms and make incremental improvements. It’s one of the reasons the platform is so popular because of these continual improvements which are mostly driven by user feedback.

To my knowledge, none of our Dux-Soup users has ever been permanently excluded from using LinkedIn.

Why? I believe it’s because we encourage all of our users to stick to some best practice guidelines. They are there for a reason and will ensure that you stay within LinkedIn fair usage. The following tips are drawn from our long history as the most established LinkedIn automation tool.

The real benefit of using a LinkedIn automation tool like Dux-Soup is to automate mundane tasks in a way that mimics real user behaviour. That is to say, using LinkedIn as you would normally do, but with automation taking care of the most time-consuming activities. You can see a good customer example here.

If you are using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, then you want to be taking advantage of the advanced search filters and the option to visit up to 500 profiles per day with Dux-Soup.

But you need to be careful about the number of connection requests and direct messages you send. we’ve already written a blog on best practices which you can read here. To summarise a couple of the key points:

  • We recommend you start by sending connection requests to no more than 3% to 5% of your total connections per day. As your network expands, the number of recommended connection requests grows too, over time.

If you are blasting out thousands of connection requests that are disproportionate to your actual total connections, then this type of user behaviour is more likely to trigger a LinkedIn alert.

  • Be selective with your search criteria and stay relevant within your target audience. People are more likely to accept your connection request if they see it is from a relevant connection. So, if your LinkedIn profile is optimised for sales and business development and you are trying to connect with similar contacts, you are more likely to be successful.

The opposite is true. If you target IT managers and your profile is optimised for sales, why should these people connect with you? You are more likely to have your connection request declined and too many of these is a bad thing.

  • Stay targeted folks and try testing out personalised messages to increase your chances of a successful connection request.
  • Another tip is to do some regular housekeeping on your connection requests. Make sure that you don’t have too many outstanding requests at any one time. This is a key part of best practice.
  • Sending direct messages is a key activity but again you want to make sure you are aligning your efforts with best practice and fair usage. Our rule of thumb is to limit yourself to around 100 to 250 direct messages per day.

Another myth that I’ve heard is that you can no longer access the email addresses of 1st-degree connections in LinkedIn. Though the email addresses have disappeared from the LinkedIn CSV Connections export file, they are still accessible via the contact’s profile page. By using Dux-Soup to auto-visiting your first-degree connections you can still easily export their email addresses. Read this Helpdesk article to learn how.

Conclusion

If you are concerned about how to use a LinkedIn automation tool then err on the cautious side, set your connection limit to a sensible level and grow steadily. I know one recruitment consultant with 10,000+ profiles, who sends 300 connection requests a day and adds 30–40 contacts per day using the slow and steady approach.

In fact, our customer feedback tells us that some of the most successful growth hackers using Dux-Soup alongside LinkedIn Sales Navigator or LinkedIn Recruiter do follow these best practice guidelines. They are consistent and regular with how they use LinkedIn and they have no issues with warnings or bans.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts and feedback on the above. If you have any questions on tweaking your Dux-Soup settings read this blog on setting up your Dux-Soup settings contact our support here.

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