Banned From LinkedIn? It Happened to Us. Here's What to Watch Out For...

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode, Dan Sanchez shares a story of what happened to a Sweet Fish employee recently, what led to it, why LinkedIn is on alert, and how to navigate the current environment without getting in trouble. 

Also in the episode:

A quick message about getting the most out of LinkedIn before its organic reach vanishes. 

Yeah, welcome back to BBB growth. I'm danSanchez with Sweet Fish Media and today I'm going to be talking about linkedinor getting banned or suspended from linkedin because it just happened to usthat Sweet Fish Media recently and I need to make an episode about it tokind of warn people and tell you what we've learned about the possibility ofgetting banned from linkedin. So this applies to anybody on Lincoln who'sspending a good amount of time on linkedin if you're the kind of personthat hardly ever checks into linkedin and this shouldn't bother you becausewell, you're not going to do any of the activities that would get you bannedfrom linkedin. And while I'm gonna be going over some of the practicallessons we've learned along the way, let me give you some back story, let megive you a lesson or let me tell you what happened to us. This all started aweek ago when our social media specialist Emily de Brito, who managesa lot of Arlington stuff for our pages.

She writes a lot of the content for ouremployee Evangelist program, which we've talked about here on GDP growth.Um, and generally the kind of person behind the scenes actually running alot of our linkedin stuff she posts for me, sometimes she comments, I'mconstantly tagging her and stuff when I think like, oh, that was a good commentthat I just wrote, turned that into a post, you know, things like that. Butof course she's on, they're doing it herself, she's Sweet Fish evangelistherself because while she writes for others. She also writes for herself tokind of get a taste of working with linkedin hands on as herself to be ableto better help others. But in the process she got suspended And she got suspended for making toomany connections, right? She's actually only taking the advice that I've givenher to connect with more people. She's probably only had 400 connections whenshe started. And I was like, Hey, yeah, like connect with a good handful ofpeople every day. But apparently she took that too far and how far it's hardto tell because it's like not one of those things that you measure. I thinklinkedin generally gives you about 100...

...connection requests a week. And I thinkas long as you spread it out throughout the week, you'll be okay. But if youtry to connect with too many people all at once, like Emily did, you'llprobably get suspended. And suspension is almost like a temporary ban. Youcannot log into linkedin, but your account doesn't go anywhere. Peoplecould still mention you and to comment and damu and all that kind of stuff.You just can't log in. You can't post, you can't comment for a couple of days.It's not a huge deal, but you should be concerned because I'm hearing aboutthis happening all the time Now. In fact, I did a poll of my own Lincolncrew Got about 500, maybe 570 votes. And I just asked them a simple questionhow many of you have been banned or suspended, right? 7% said they had. And while that seems like, well, yeah,but 93% said, they hadn't. you've got to remember, That's 7% is quite a bitof 500. That's That's like 40 people...

Who have been suspended out of the 500.That's that's a good chunk. That's a good amount of people that have beenkicked off for something. They probably didn't deserve to be kicked off for. So, not long after that she wasreinstated. Right? And then out of nowhere, bam permanently banned. Andthe only reason she was given is that it looked like she was doing have thather behavior on linkedin looked like it had been over automated or justautomated in general. We tracked it down to it being viewing too manyprofiles at once, which has kind of become known as like a no no onlinkedin from those who have been suspended. That's usually the main case,not connections, but viewing too many profiles, Which is ridiculous becauseshe was literally just pulling up 50 profiles at once to be able to create agood spreadsheet for our own evangelist program to be able to know who toconnect with because sometimes you want to connect with people who are thethought leaders or influencers in certain niches. So she was creating alittle database for us to be able to do...

...that. Nothing spammy there Not openingit so that they would know she opened it, not opening it so she could DM orspam them at all. She was just doing some research. This happens all thetime and we do this right. We opened up 50 tabs of people or things and we'redoing research. We kind of pulled them all one at a time, pull them into excel,whatever. She was just doing that as part of her job. I asked her to but it got her band and not just kindof banned, permanently banned and it was an ordeal over a weekend. I'llspare the details, but essentially like customer service when I talked to her,she she wasn't even allowed to because she couldn't log back into linked in totalk to them. So she mentioned reached out on twitter, they didn't help hermuch there. I pretty much put together a campaign and made a lot of noisethrough my profile, got the whole sweet fish team involved over the weekend andthe post went viral and we got, you know, got people's attention. So when ahuman actually looked at it, she got reinstated with some warnings. But Idon't want that to happen to you. I don't want that to happen to anybody.Remember a lot of people are getting...

...suspended and banned from Lincoln rightnow, not because they're pushing the edge. Not because they're postingcontroversial information. Not because they're even spamming. Then we knowthere's lots of spam going on on linkedin but because they're just doingcertain behaviors that look to linkedin at least to the Lincoln algorithms.Like it could be spam. And then when humans review it it also looks likespam because they're trained to kind of have yes no answers. They kind of havethese really clear set of behaviors to follow themselves and so they just kindof look over it and if it meets the criteria bam band. So because of that Iwanted to share some information with some things that we've learned aboutwhy they're trying to do it. What you can do to try to avoid being bannedfrom linkedin and what my hopes are going forward. Hey everybody Logan withsweet fish here. If you're a regular listener of GDP growth you know thatI'm one of the co host of the show but...

...you may not know that I also head upthe sales team here is sweet fish. So for those of you in sales or sales opsI wanted to take a second to share something that's made us insanely moreefficient lately. Our team has been using lead I. Q. For the past fewmonths. And what used to take us four hours gathering contact data now takesus only one where 75% more efficient were able to move faster with outboundprospecting and organizing our campaigns is so much easier than before.I'd highly suggest you guys check out lead I. Q. As well. You can check themout at lead I. Q dot com. That's L E A D I Q dot com. All right. Let's getback to the show. So why is linked in doing this Lincoln is trying to cutback on all the spam. If you're on link too much, you know, you get some spamright? Usually see it in the form of dems. Sometimes I see it in my comments.You know, you get those dems that are like, hey, if you're so and so youmight be interested in S. C. O. Check...

...out my free thing or hey, would you beinterested in S. C. O. Services? You're just kind of like, no, not really. It'skind of generic writes copy and paste. It's probably automatics that cameright after you connected except on their connection requests or just cameout of the blue from nowhere. And then usually you go back to the D. M. Andthere's like five, five of them that you've already seen already and justignored. But this is the fifth in the sequence. They just continue to sendthe crap. So there's spam happening everywhere Lincoln knows this andthey're trying to keep linked in to be a great place to show up. They have agood user experience. Their success depends on it. So they're trying to cutback on the spam. And so they've created a bunch of algorithms that arelooking for things that look spammy. So if you've ever checked out a link to anautomation tool and I've looked at them, I don't use them, but I've certainlylooked at them. You can you can automate all kinds of things. You canautomate messages, you can automate profile views, you can automatecomments, shoot, you can target marketing directors of healthcarecompanies and just say, hey, go and...

...follow all these people and then sendthem a message and go and comment on some of the most recent posts. It'scrazy. It's crazy because if you want to win on linkedin, you gotta just berelational and social do the hard work. But lots of people automate it and Iknow they're seeing successful that otherwise they wouldn't be doing it ifyou're one of those people like it's only gonna work for so long and it'sgonna get harder and harder to do it. So this is a quick message. Start maybekeep doing it for a while but start doing the real work of getting the mostout of linkedin. Probably only have three years left to really get the mostout of Lincoln organically anyway, so take advantage of it while it's here.So with all the spam going on linkedin is really trying to cut back on it likeI said. So they have the algorithms, they also have the customer serviceteams that are being the human touch to kind of like look over what thealgorithms have flagged. But the human teams are also so over processed thatthey can't really they can only see what's been shown to them and theydon't won't dig deeper. They won't come out and ask you, they won't talk to you,they'll just take a look at it and either like ignore what the algorithmssuggested or suspend you or ban you if...

...it's been like a second offense. Sothere's not a lot of grace here. And because there's not a lot of customerservice for the amount of users on linkedin, it's hard to get a hold of ahuman to be able to make your case for why you should get reinstated. Andthat's the dangerous part is that Lincoln will not give you a warningabout this, It will just happen. So you have to know what the parameters arethey're looking at in order to keep your own profile safe and still get themost that you can out of linkedin. So here's five things that I wouldrecommend to stay safe on linkedin, Keep yourself from getting banned andcontinue to get the most out of it. Number one, just don't use automationtools. That's a start, right. That's what they're looking for and they'retrying to cut back on, you can use automation tools and try to change theparameters so that you don't get caught but eventually you're gonna get caught.Eventually they're going to get smart enough to be able to see what's goingon. So just drop the automation tools because people are even getting caughtdoing it manually. So be careful. The...

...biggest thing people are gettingflagged for is profile views because it seems really innocent. Like you wouldlike it's not spamming, no one really knows except for that sends anotification when you open up their profiled right? Sometimes, especiallyif they're paying for premium. So be careful how many you open, especiallyall at once if you open up like 25 all in an hour, you should be concerned,slow it down, spread them out over time. Which is a shame because honestly it'sgood research to be able to pull up and kind of grab like you are all to createa database for later purposes. You know, there's lots of reasons why you woulddo it, but just be careful doing it now, number two, watch how many connectionsare sending out? You should still send out connections even though Lincolnsays you know, only connect with people. You know, I'm like, it's a networkingapp. People want to connect with people that don't know it's kind of thatsocial media. So I'm still doing it. I would still encourage you to do it justspread them out. 10 - 20 a day is still fine and you'll be good. Um I don'tknow if I would do them all in one sitting, I might want to spread themout throughout the day, which creates...

...some work, but that's what I'm doingand it's working out pretty well. You can't do more than 100 a week, but ifyou're doing 10-20 a day, spread them out over seven days, you should be goodNumber four. If you are suspended. Be extra careful afterwards. I find thatonce you've been suspended once and gotten back on, like the chances of yougetting suspended again are higher than it would have been the first timebecause now you're kind of like on alert and your, your profile might getpermanently bad. That's what happened to Emily. Don't let it happen to you.If you do get suspended. Be super careful, do not send out 10 to 20connection requests a week. Send out Like I wouldn't be sending out any fora while. I might wait a couple months. Just let people connect with you postgood stuff and don't open up more than 10 profiles in a day or something likethat. Just be really careful. Honestly. It's a little over automated. It'scrazy to even think that I have to even like try to set manual parameters forus to be careful of. But that's just where we're at right now in Lincolnstill so good that it's worth doing and...

...lastly stay tuned for more updates asthis continues to move on. And I assume hopefully linked and will get better atthis. So keep an eye open for when people talk about it. If you seesomebody else talking about it, keep an eye for what they say and how theirexperience was as good as be something that you want to stay up to date with.Whether linked it becomes more strict or less strict or becomes better atspotting real automation versus what is perceived automation. Right? So youneed to pay attention in order to continue to get the most out oflinkedin without getting kicked off at Lincoln because of all the sweet fishgot kicked off of Lincoln. It would be devastating right now Lincoln,certainly our top performing social channel short form channel, of courseBTB growth is our main long form channel, but even then we promote GDPgrowth primarily on linked in. So we've certainly taken note we're training ourEvangelist team partly with this podcast, but also wanted to keep all ofus GDP growth informed of what's going on at linkedin...

...is your buyer at VtB marketer. If so,you should think about sponsoring this podcast. BTB growth gets downloadedover 100 and 30,000 times each month and our listeners are marketingdecision makers. If it sounds interesting, send Logan and email Loganat sweet fish media dot com. Yeah.

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