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New Survey Shows that LinkedIn Users Strongly Dislike Unsolicited DMs

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Should You Accept All Connection Requests on LinkedIn?


This probably doesn’t bode well for LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail ad offering.

Over the last week, we ran a poll with our LinkedIn audience to get a better sense of what annoys people the most on the platform. And as you can see from the results, ‘Unwanted messages’ were the fairly clear winner.

We also ran the poll in our LinkedIn group, which generated even more responses, but still reflected the same result, in terms of messages leading the way.

LinkedIn Survey

At more than 5k combined responses, that’s fairly indicative, and while polls do limit your capacity for context, it does seem that you really should be reassessing your usage of blind outreach DMs in the app.

Among the most annoying DM uses, as outlined by respondents in the comments, were unsolicited product pitches, unwanted DMs from people looking to use LinkedIn as a dating site (do not do this), and people who message you within seconds of connecting, again to sell you things.

Of course, some salespeople will no doubt have had success with these efforts, which they’ll see as validating such process. But the evidence here suggests that these attempts are generally not popular, and that you’d likely be better off finding other ways to first establish a relationship before the pitch.

How can you do that?

By engaging with user posts, posting in relevant communities, and working to make your presence known to those you’re looking to sell to, so it’s not just random outreach.

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That takes more effort, and time, but if we can glean anything from these surveys, the message is fairly clear that people don’t want random invasions in their inbox, even if it is only on LinkedIn.

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Getting somebody’s email address is a measure of trust, and it’s up to you to ensure that you don’t abuse that. It can seem less intrusive on social platforms, as opposed to reaching their dedicated email inbox, but the principles are the same. If you want to build a business relationship, you should focus on the ‘relationship’ element before that hard sell, otherwise you could be seen as intrusive, inconsiderate, or annoying as a result.



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Meta’s Adding More Ad Targeting Information to its Ad Library Listings

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Meta's Adding More Ad Targeting Information to its Ad Library Listings

In the wake of the Cambridge Analytics scandal, Meta has implemented a range of data protection measures to ensure that it limits access to users’ personal data and insight, while at the same time, it’s also been working to provide more transparency into how its systems are being used by different groups to target their messaging.

These conflicting approaches require a delicate balance, one which Meta has largely been able to maintain via its Ad Library, which enables anyone to see any ad being run by any Facebook Page in the recent past.

Now, Meta’s looking to add to that insight, with new information being added to the Ad Library on how Pages are using social issue, electoral or political ads in their process.

Meta ad targeting

As you can see here, the updated Ad Library overview will include more specific information on how each advertiser is using these more sensitive targeting options, which could help researchers detect misuse or report concerns.

As explained by Meta:

“At the end of this month, detailed targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads will be made available to vetted academic researchers through the Facebook Open Research and Transparency (FORT) environment […] Coming in July, our publicly available Ad Library will also include a summary of targeting information for social issue, electoral or political ads run after launch. This update will include data on the total number of social issue, electoral and political ads a Page ran using each type of targeting (such as location, demographics and interests) and the percentage of social issue, electoral and political ad spend used to target those options.”

That’s a significant update for Meta’s ad transparency efforts, which will help researchers better understand key trends in ad usage, and how they relate to messaging resonance and response.

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Meta has come under scrutiny over such in the past, with independent investigations finding that housing ads, for example, were illegally using race-based exclusions in their ad targeting. That led to Meta changing its rules on how its exclusions can be used, and this new expansion could eventually lead to similar, by making discriminatory ad targeting easier to identify, with direct examples from Meta’s system.

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For regular advertisers, it could also give you some additional insight into your competitors’ tactics. You might find more detailed information on how other brands are honing in on specific audiences, which may not be discriminatory, but may highlight new angles for your own marketing efforts.

It’s a good transparency update, which should glean significant benefits for researchers trying to better understand how Meta’s intricate ad targeting system is being used in various ways.

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