LinkedIn finally wants you to get to know your followers

LinkedIn has been historically reticent to give in-depth follower information, or it has at least limited follower-specific features. When it brought back the option to invite your connections to follow your company page late last year, it implemented a limit of 50 invites per page manager, per day. The limit was implemented to prevent ‘growth hackers’ from doing what they do best; spamming their connections every day, no matter the hour, no matter how relevant the follower is.

Features like this have been par for the course on LinkedIn, such as hiding follower information for company pages to prevent users reaching out and overloading their followers with unnecessary offers. Yet, now that’s changing.

New analytics tools

Follower analytics have seen a welcome overhaul. If a user now heads over to its LinkedIn company page analytics, LinkedIn is finally showing a list of page followers added in reverse chronological order. While you cannot download this list, it offers extra information and supports the existing follower metrics and demographic/job role data. It also helps company page admins better understand their follower growth, whether posts are reaching the desired audience and can be a great indicator if messaging needs to change.

While this will make it easier to reach out to followers through sales calls and the like, LinkedIn has also recognised a barrier in building connections over their platform – name pronunciation. Say you’ve connected with someone. A few messages have been exchanged and all is going well – you two met at a conference a few years back and this has been a great chance to reminisce about how awful it was. Numbers are exchanged and the salesman calls the potential client, only to mispronounce his name. The whole charade breaks down then, and the client feels less important than they should.

It’s a very specific example, but name pronunciation is often more important than we think in building relationships – get the name consistently wrong, and it shows that you simply don’t care. To make it easier for everyone, LinkedIn is adding a new audio option for names. Users can now add an audio recording of their name, if they so choose, which can be easily played from their profiles. No more mispronounced names and everyone wins.

Old restrictions, new hat

To coincide with the expanded follower information, LinkedIn has also revisited its connection invitation system. There’s a new system for restricting how many times a company page manager can send out invitations to their page followers – now based on credits.

Pages now have 100 credits, but they are only able to connect with 100 people per month. Every unaccepted invite comes out of this credit pool, but if a user accepts the invite, the credit is returned to the page. With the right targeting list and adequate thought put into which LinkedIn users to invite, pages could theoretically send out more than 100 invites per month and quickly grow a dedicated, specific audience.

How all these new systems will play together remains to be seen – much of social media is about experimentation and evolution, but especially the credits are an interesting feature and we cannot wait to see how it develops.

For more on the latest developments in social media, head to our recent Social Snapshot, here.

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