LinkedIn Invitation Tsunami!
You open your laptop (or pick up your phone) in the morning, fire up LinkedIn and then notice this……
Wait….that’s not 2 invitations, it’s 2000! Where did they all of a sudden come from?
This week I’m investigating what I call the LinkedIn Invitation Tsunami. What is it, why does it happen and what you should do if it happens to you.
Interesting Stuff I Saw This Week
- Hashtags are becoming more used and due to the recent algorithm changes, more important. As I mentioned last week, using relevant hashtags that are widely followed gives you a better chance of your post appearing in the feed of more of your followers. So it was great to see this interesting piece of research done by Gal Yefet this week on the most followed hashtags.
- LinkedIn & ESPN Join Forces to Engage Working Professionals
- The external link that went viral….but wait…..it’s not a post, or update!
This is weird! I’ve never seen anything like this before. I can only assume this was placed into our feed by Linkedin. It seems they are scanning the internet for viral content and then inserting it into the feed of inactive users or users with very limited networks.
This is actually a pretty good feature that allows page admins to Like or comment on posts and articles under the company name.
And here is what you see in notifications (this is for a different page to the one above)
Feedback from Previous Shows
Thanks Greg, it’s a good point about the follow prompt after connecting, it’s a good feature although it doesn’t appear to be happening for me anymore so it’s clearly still being tested
There is no doubt that Page invites feature was poorly thought through but I still think it has legs, if they changed a few things about it. The point is that company page admins can proactively do something about growing their followers and that has to be a good thing.
I think they need to make the following changes before bringing this feature back;
- Allow members to opt-out of page invites and a link to this setting should be included in every received invitation
- Page invites should not appear in ‘My Network’ – notifications would be more appropriate or even a separate page that includes all the companies you are following as well as an invitations inbox.
The Invitation Tsunami
I was contacted by several people this week complaining about a deluge of invitations. This has happened before but does seem to happen in waves (excuse the Tsunami pun!).
On further investigation, I found many more people had experienced this weird and very annoying phenomenon. Here is a selection of posts I saw on the subject this week;
This isn’t the first time I have come across this, I remembered our friend Kate Lister posting about it last year.
Kate told me that she received 2000 requests in one week, and then probably another 1000, over the following 2 or 3 weeks! She went on to say;
In the end it became impossible to manage. You can’t even vet that many requests let alone decide, filter and reply to them. I tried to just click accept on 100 or so a day till I got bored, very quickly!
So in the end, she just left most of them.
Why is this happening?
I can’t be 100% sure, looking at the comment threads on some of these posts, I whittled it down to three possibilities;
- A glitch resulting in someone being ‘stuck’ at the top of the ‘suggested connections’ list in My Network
- One of these 5-day challenges resulting in a bunch of people all inviting the same people at once
- Automated invitation products that use the same database of names for each user.
I really don’t think it’s the first one, partly because it’s at least been happening for 10 months now but also because when this is reported to LinkedIn they respond as follows;
The Safety team are the ones who are responsible for tracking the use of bots and banning people who they consider bad actors.
I thought number two might be a possibility, especially when I found that one of these challenges is active this week but when I looked in more detail at how these challenges operate, it didn’t seem likely. Whilst lots of invites are all sent out on one of the 5 days, they are unlikely to be to the same people – participants are not given a list of people to invite, they have to find them via a search criteria relevant to their market. In addition, the ‘invite’ day is day 3 and most of these people received their invites late last week or from Monday this week. I’m no fan of these challenges but I really don’t think they are the guilty party.
I’m pretty sure this is a symptom of fools using automated invitation tools. It might be click farms and fake profiles but most people seemed to believe that the invitations were from genuine users so I think it’s just inexperienced and naive LinkedIn users who have wasted their money on a tool that will give them false results and in the process annoy the rest of us! #autoban!
What can you do about it?
Firstly I would report it to LinkedIn who will investigate and ban any bad actors. Personally, I wouldn’t accept these invitations because I don’t wish to be connected to people that use automation, in addition, they are likely to start spamming you at some point. If you don’t have the time to assess a connection request, don’t accept it – you could be providing spammers or worse scammers credibility that they may use to influence and decieve your other connections.
Jeri is an Accountant and talks about accounting matters in her posts….that’s not an easy subject to do well and encourage engagement but I think she is a shining example of how, with a bit of creativity, you can cover almost any subject in an entertaining and informative way.
This video ticks many boxes for me;
- Clear headline at the top of the video
- Great lighting and neutral background
- Strong production value, very professional
- It’s amusing and entertaining
- Informative & helpful
- Short, yet gets the point across
- Not salesy at all.
That’s it for this week and there won’t be an episode next week because I’m heading off on holiday here again…..
Have a great week and I will be back in a couple of weeks.