LinkedIn Automation Gone Wrong Stories?

LinkedIn Automation request

LinkedIn is a great place to curate a your professional network, keep track of people changing jobs, launching new venture, and sharing interesting content, but LinkedIn automation has filled our inboxes with spam.

Some recent connection requests in my “inbox” include:

Hi Reuben, I’m Steve. I’m always looking for an opportunity to connect with entrepreneurs from Florida like you are. I will be glad to join your professional network and see if there is a way to collaborate.
Kind regards, Steve

OK, I get that your template wants you to use your first name twice, to be more personal, but you’re in the wrong state. Here’s someone who had me on the other coast:

Hey Reuben,

I was browsing software companies in Seattle and stumbled on your profile. Is this your full-time business currently or just something on the side?

Here’s someone in the right state, who wants to use LinkedIn to set up a coffee meeting with one of her colleagues:

Hi Reuben
I hope you are doing great.
I’m writing to you because my colleague from Houston would like to meet with you and to talk about web development services for startups, small and middle entrepreneurship.
Do you have free time for a cup of coffee Jan’23?

This one has my area right (I assume– I didn’t check where the open house is), in case I want to move.

Hey Reuben,

I wanted to reach out and introduce myself. I will be hosting a open house in your area Saturday and Sunday from 11-4pm, here’s the details. I hope you can come by, check out the home below!

Maybe I just need to upgrade my wardrobe. (OK, maybe this one is targeted appropriately.)

Hi Reuben, this is [xyz] with [pqr] mens custom clothier here in Texas.

Wanted to reach out personally and let you know we’re holding an Austin event at the end of March. One-on-one consults, where we’ll have some awesome package pricing.

If you’re interested let me know!

Sometimes the automation scripts seem a bit funny.

I specialize in lead generation for agencies like yours. Perhaps we should talk?

We lay out our process here: [url removed to protect the guilty]

Sometimes they seem to forget to filter by company size

Hey Reuben,

Our team of developers and marketers have been working as remote employees for major companies in the United States. It has significantly reduced their operating costs. The introduction of our work-hour trackers and management systems have helped them scale up performance. Is this something that you’d be interested in?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Thanks for connecting

This one includes my industry– I imagine as some kind of merge field, so someone in insurance would have the chance for “some solid referrals in the Insurance space”.

Reuben, like you, I’m always trying to grow my network and collaborate in unique ways. I work with a lot of executives, and I think there may be a chance for some solid referrals in the Computer Software space.

Let’s connect and maybe tell me a little about your ideal client.

This one is pretty basic, except for the lie about “reading your profile”.

Hi Reuben,

We are fellow LinkedIn professionals, and I value having business-related contacts in my network. After reading your profile, it would be my pleasure to connect on LinkedIn.

All the best,

[XYZ] | Health Insurance Advisor

This one is more sophisticated– they have multiple employees sending out the same LinkedIn automation script:

We’ve been looking for a business like yours and your company caught our eye. In our “attention economy,” that’s no small feat. Let’s connect if you’re interested in talking about an opportunity for your company.

Seems like I caught the “eye” of their automated trawler.

This is one of my favorites– in case I need financing for my agency/company.

Hey, I stumbled on your profile and I have to say you’ve got a great idea. I’d love to learn about the function of your agency/company. Let’s schedule time for a talk, I’m not going to hesitate to finance it If I deem it profitable, looking forward to talking.

And at least this one is honest about having no idea about me at all:

Reuben, nice to connect with you! Looks like you’re doing well. What’s your core business?

What are your “favorite” connection requests? (About half of mine don’t even have a message at all.)

LinkedIn and the spammers seem to be in an arms race, with LinkedIn trying to block automated tools and people selling and using those tools trying to get around the blocks. It seems the tools are winning.

Since the marginal cost of asking for connections is zero, and apparently some of these requests turn into business (how?!?), the spam keeps coming.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I like LinkedIn for what it is, but the experience reinforces my belief that technology is there to facilitate real world interaction, not replace it. (See The Reconnection Challenge for more on having real conversations with people and The Maximum Social Network for a calculator that will tell you how many relationships you can really maintain.)

Have you had success with LinkedIn automation? Have you used any of these automated campaigns and seen good results? I’d love to hear more.

And if you’ve just got particularly funny connection requests in your inbox, I’d love to hear about those, too.

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