Despite the advent of the GDPR regulations, I’ve noticed an increase in the amount of mass messaging (aka spam) sent through LinkedIn in recent months. This includes messages pushed out through the platform and emails sent ‘because we’re connected on LinkedIn’ through normal email channels.
It seems to be easy to forget (or ignore) that LinkedIn is a social network where relationships are supposed to be built and mutual support leveraged, not an opt-in mailing list. Or maybe it’s just laziness in some cases.
Laziness would certainly seem to account for the message I recently received from someone who knows me yet offered to sell to me exactly what I offer to other people!
Or the message one of my associates received addressed ‘Dear…’ and addressed to his email rather than his name!
There’s no excuse for such basic errors but they happen when you mass message people. I’d be unimpressed with such poorly thought through and executed communications by normal email but when they come through a platform like LinkedIn it’s almost unforgivable.
When you mass message people two things happen. First of all you treat everyone as the same, despite the fact we are facing different challenges, have different needs and are connected to you in different ways and for different reasons. By obliterating those differences you destroy much of the hard work you have put into building unique relationships.
Secondly, by its nature the communication is all about you and not about the person you are communicating with. OK, you might start with ‘I hope you’re well’ but that just compounds the insult – you clearly don’t care, otherwise you’d say it to me personally!
I’m not pretending that there is no place for mass communication in a marketing or sales strategy. I’m just not sure that LinkedIn is the place for it. And if it is, it needs to be better executed, with more honesty, more nuance and less laziness.