For years, social media marketers have been using LinkedIn messages as a way to communicate 1 to 1 with prospects on the professional social media site. Although you have to be connected to someone to send them a free message from their profile, savy marketers knew that you could bypass this by being in the same LinkedIn group as someone. Looks like LinkedIn caught wind and decided to switch the rules on us.
In my experiences, my marketing team had great success at using LinkedIn messages to promote professional events. We were able to be very efficient in our efforts as well. For example, when promoting a project management event, we would simply join networking LinkedIn groups that were local to the area that focused on project management, as well as general project management LinkedIn groups. From the group page, we’d click on the members link, and a list of all members would appear. Then, all we’d have to do is go down the members list and send hundreds of messages, free of charge.
LinkedIn must have realized that they were not making as much money on InMail (a service that you pay in order to send non-connections messages) from this group method, because a group update posted TODAY 6/18 indicates that there are now restrictions on the amount of free messages to group members that you can send:
- 15 max per month
Of course, you have the option to purchase InMails, but first you need to upgrade to a premium account. This will cost you an extra $65 to $100 dollars per month to either get 15 or 30 additional InMail messages.
Guess you better start building your connection networks.