LinkedIn Automation: The Elephant in the Room

Can you defeat LinkedIn's robotic bounty hunters? Sure. But by the time you do, it might not feel like much of a win.
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email


Here’s an awkward decision that comes up every few days…

  1. Tribify helps entrepreneurs build real one-one relationships with exactly the right people on LinkedIn.
  2. That service is built on a core of LinkedIn automation.
  3. LinkedIn absolutely forbids any kind of automation on its platform.

So every time we publish an article we have to ask ourselves: is this one safe to publish on LinkedIn?

The safest answer is probably a big fat NO. In fact, PhantomBuster is our automation provider. If you look at their LinkedIn company page, you’ll find zero content, despite the fact that they have a super active blog with tons of useful content!

Let’s level-set. PhantomBuster isn’t breaking any laws, and neither is Tribify. It’s perfectly legal to write and operate automation against a web page. However, LinkedIn’s User Agreement is explicit: if you use any kind of automation against their platform, then you can’t have a LinkedIn account.

Their house, their rules.

Now, obviously, LinkedIn automation can mean a lot of things. It is 100% possible to acquire a PhantomBuster subscription or LinkedHelper or any of a hundred other automation products and use it to generate a list and then spam the heck out of it via LinkedIn messaging, email, or what have you. Power tools are available.

In truth, that isn’t a winning strategy. LinkedIn is NOT kidding around with their User Agreement, and is fairly good at detecting a ham-handed approach to automation. First they log you out. After repeated infractions, they suspend your account. Eventually they kick you off the platform.

Can you defeat LinkedIn’s robotic bounty hunters? Sure. You can create fake accounts by the dozen, and you can engineer your service to slow down and behave more and more like a human being. But there’s a trade-off at work here: before long, you’ll find yourself spending more energy defeating LinkedIn than you spend communicating your now-totally-fragmented message to your prospects. It’s hard to characterize this as a win.

This is why a consensus has emerged in the serious marketing community around LinkedIn automation: don’t do it!

They aren’t wrong. But I submit that this is good advice for the same reason I might advise a casual garage mechanic not to run out and spend $7,000 on a vehicle lift: it’s probably more power than you need, and you’re just asking for trouble. Besides: your regular mechanic already has one!

Tribify makes no attempt to defeat LinkedIn’s robotic bounty hunters.

Instead, we run our automation more or less continuously but at a VERY low level. As we operate your LinkedIn account over the course of a single day, our searches, profile scrapes, and other activity are unlikely to raise any red flags, even when combined with all the other actions you might perform manually. But over the course of weeks or months, this low level of activity produces a detailed picture of your network landscape and hundreds of meaningful connections with exactly the right people.

We couldn’t accomplish any of this if we abused the LinkedIn platform on your behalf. So… we don’t!

The AI component of the Tribify Engine is real and it tells the automation component what to do. But with respect to the automation itself, the secret sauce isn’t what we do. It’s how we do it.

So this article is not likely to appear in Tribify’s LinkedIn timeline. And the irony will continue: despite the fact that Tribify offers the most innovative and effective service available for the LinkedIn platform, you aren’t likely to find it advertised very heavily on LinkedIn.

Didn’t stop you from finding us, though, did it? 😁

1 comment

Leave a Reply