How Not to Use LinkedIn for Marketing

Linkedin marketing should be classy (Image: Daniel Latto)

When I started off as a Freelance Digital Marketer, I first thought of the best online platforms to get my target clients. Of course, LinkedIn was my first choice. Studies have shown that it is the best social media for lead generation for B2B.
So, I immediately mapped all my contacts. At the time I could boast of over 300 connections. To me, that was a good start. Then, I checked up their profiles and listed the business owners among them. I then drafted a good and catchy message and forwarded the message to all of them.
Of course, I started off by apologising for intruding. Guess what, only four out of over 300 contacts responded. Some said, "nice to know". Others promised to be in touch if they needed my service and the rest well, did one of two things: Didn't care, or were offended by my intrusion.
Even though I ended up having one client from this effort, I have come to learn that this approach can be really wrong and embarrassing. Why?
Imagine receiving a message from someone who has never spoken to you before or engaged with you via comments on your posts or liking your posts sending you a direct message and going on and on about what they can do to help your business grow.
First of all, your target didn't tell you they were looking for your service or product.
Secondly, whatever happened to the good old taking your time to know someone?
I came to learn how intrusive this was when I managed a client's LinkedIn Account. This account got marketing messages almost daily-Advertising one product or service to another. I must admit, some were quite intrusive and well, could get the real account holder angry. The worst is when certain people put the messages on auto-repeat. Oh God! Talk of spam? And then, the ones who ensure they check-in with you twice or three times a week. (Sigh)
Unsolicited direct messages on Linkedin or social media is almost as bad as Spam emails (Gif:giphy)

It is time to reinvent the wheel. Social Media, of course, gives you many opportunities to reach and find new customers. However, remember that social media is mainly for social networking. And as a business, you should build relationships with your customers in order to win their hearts.
  • Engage with your target: Follow their conversations, like and comment. Simply build a relationship from the start.
  • Mention them in relevant posts. Tag them as well in your posts which are relevant to them
  • Find their official email if they have one and send a well-written proposal
  • If you still feel the need to send direct messages, start with a simple greeting or "just to check on you" text.
  • Start a conversation either about their current post or something of interest and related to your product or service
  • And after easing them into the conversation and making them comfortable with you, market your product or service. (EASY RIGHT?) The key is to get their attention and build a relationship through conversation. That indeed, is what social networking is all about. 

If you found this piece useful, then share and inform others. If you need consultation or any digital marketing service, don't hesitate to contact us at

By Hauwa Abubakar


  1. I never understood that Reddit has 8 million views per month. If I had known I'd have made far more effort in advertising the company there. Thanks for sharing this useful info. I expect some articles Later on

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