LinkedIn is one of the most effective channels for B2B marketing and lead generation. With 800m+ users and 33m+ companies listed, it’s the digital networking event of your dreams! With so many users and companies though, it can be a lot to manage. That’s where LinkedIn automation can help you to save time, increase productivity and eke the most out of this powerful B2B sales tool. In this article, I’ll explain what LinkedIn automation is, how to automate different tasks on the platform, and how to maximize your activity on LinkedIn.
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Automated Content Posting
Automating LinkedIn can come in many different forms. You can automate posting content, sending connection requests and messages – even data collection & lead generation. Let’s look at some of the most popular LinkedIn automation applications and our favourite tools for each.
Automated Content Sharing
If you’re using LinkedIn for B2B marketing, or even building your personal brand, you’re likely sharing content regularly. If you’re not – it’s time to start! LinkedIn is a great place to share content and have it reach your target audience.
Looking to get started with LinkedIn content – or just up your content game? Here’s a video I made showing you how:
If you are sharing content regularly, then you’ll know that the time at which you post has a big impact on your reach and engagement. The more engagement your post receives early on, the better it fares with the LinkedIn algorithm… this then means it gets seen by more people, receives more engagement and so on. This is how virality works!
On the flip side, if you post at a low-activity time when not many people are online and ready to engage, your post will likely not have great reach. Without going too deep into posting times (that’s a blog in itself!) here’s my tip: think about when you’re free to use LinkedIn, when your ideal customer is around and adjust for time difference. For example, if you’re UK based like me, but you have users in the USA, it’s a good idea to post later in the day. The US is around 4-6 hours behind the UK, so posting at lunch will help you to reach the lunchtime UK crowd and the pre-work US browsers. Posting in the evening will reach the UK commuters on their way home while catching the US during their lunch break.
It’s not always possible to make yourself available at all hours of the day to post your content. That’s where LinkedIn automation comes in. Automated content posters will allow you to prep your post, crafty your company, insert your hashtags and schedule your post for the time that suits you.
In my opinion, the best on the market is Buffer. They’ve been leaders in the field for many years now and their service keeps on improving. Plus, you can use Buffer to schedule content for other channels too.
Full disclosure, this is the Lix blog so I will be talking about Lix here, but don’t fear. Where a competitor does something better, I will recommend them instead! This blog is all about helping you to choose the best option for you. With that in mind, let’s break them down and dive in…
Automated Lead Generation: Emails
LinkedIn is jam-packed with lead gen potential. Millions upon millions of professionals, all neatly-listed with their job title, organisation, education… It’s like Yo-Sushi for salespeople!
Reaching out to prospects on LinkedIn is one thing (and we will get to that soon!) but what if you want to find and export their email addresses? That’s where something like Lix comes in. In short, the Lix tool will find, test, verify and export 98% accurate email addresses for LinkedIn prospects in minutes. Here’s a short (40 second) video showing you just how quick and easy it is:
If you want to know a bit more about how it works, I’ve written a blog on LinkedIn emails that explains everything! If you’re ready to try it out then sign up at lix-it.com and get 50 free emails every single month.
Automated Lead Generation: Contact Numbers
Cold caller, as opposed to a cold emailer? Then Lix isn’t the tool for you (I told you I’d be honest!). When it comes to finding phone numbers, you can’t do better than ZoomInfo. Their database of contact numbers is unrivalled and they’ve been industry-leaders in this field for a very long time.
ZoomInfo also offer email addresses – so why go with Lix instead, I hear you ask? Really it comes down to price and speed. ZoomInfo is the market leader and they charge a hefty (but justified) price to match. It also takes a long time to get set up and running. If you’re a large organisation and can afford the time and money, go for it. They offer a ton of other cool features too!
Automated Lead Generation: Connections & Messages
I will start this section with a warning. Although this can be a great way to expand your network and generate leads, automating your connections and messages is the riskiest of all the methods on this list. It is really easy for LinkedIn to detect what you’re doing and they will stop you wherever possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but exercise some caution. With that said, let’s move on.
Even if you’ve never automated your connections and messages before, you’ve certainly experienced the receiving end. Those connections you get that come with a message, followed by a second and third message that feel a little robotic? Those have likely been automated. The reason they’re so easy to spot, is that they’re often not very well executed. My tip, if you’re going to try this particular flavour of LinkedIn automation, is to go lightly. Perhaps send connection requests with a broad opening message, then follow up with those who accept personally. Automated responses, especially when they’re not associated with triggers (if person says X, reply Y) just come off as robotic and insincere.
If you must try such a tool, then the best out there is probably Octopus – but be warned, I used it and my account was temporarily limited by LinkedIn for doing so.
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of data. Whether you’re in marketing or business intelligence, competitor research or academia, there are millions of data points to seek and extract.
The two best tools on the market for this are Lix and Phantom Buster. The difference between the two? Speed and ease of use. Phantom Buster have been around a little longer than us and do offer a few data points that we don’t, but getting setting up is a little complicated and it will take some time to get started.
Data gathering with Lix works in much the same way that lead gen does (see above). Just perform your search, add your filters and export!
LinkedIn automation can help you stay connected with your network, grow your audience, and save time. This guide has outlined the basics of automating LinkedIn so that you can get started doing it yourself. If you have any questions about automating your LinkedIn account, leave them in the comments below!