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LinkedIn has always held a unique position in the social media sphere. It’s the go-to platform for connecting with industry peers, seeking job opportunities, and generating leads. However, over the years, fake profiles have plagued LinkedIn, making it increasingly challenging to sift through the noise and connect with genuine decision-makers.

In August 2023, LinkedIn announced that it has been cracking down on these fraudulent profiles, and this move is poised to transform lead generation by allowing us to reach real people and authentic decision-makers.

The LinkedIn Clean-Up

LinkedIn’s battle against fake profiles is a significant step forward in ensuring the platform remains a hub for legitimate professional networking. For years, fake profiles have been a persistent nuisance, often impersonating executives, using stolen photos, and employing deceptive tactics to amass connections for phishing and identity theft schemes, as well as mass spamming tactics that are obviously frowned upon.

In response to these issues, LinkedIn has been actively implementing measures to identify and remove the imposters.

The Impact on Lead Generation

So how does LinkedIn’s crackdown on fake profiles affect your lead generation efforts? Well, let’s break it down.

  • More Targeted Connections: With fake profiles out of the way, your connection requests and accepted invitations are more likely to come from genuine individuals. This translates into a higher chance of building connections with people who matter.
  • Better Data Quality: Fake profiles often muddle the data on LinkedIn. By eliminating these, LinkedIn can offer cleaner and more accurate data, enhancing targeting and audience building across the board.
  • Increased Trust: Trust is the bedrock of any business relationship. When you connect with someone on LinkedIn, you want to be sure they are who they claim to be. Fewer fake profiles means increased trust between users, making it easier to engage in meaningful conversations that can lead to business opportunities.
  • Enhanced Engagement: Engaging with real people who are genuinely interested in your content or services can lead to more engagement on your profiles and content as well!

Why First Degree Connections Matter

Running first-degree connection campaigns has always been a valuable tactic, but having better quality profiles to pull from for this strategy can make these campaigns a game changer.

Here’s why:

1. Established Relationship: First-degree connections are individuals you’ve already connected with on LinkedIn. This means they are familiar with your profile and have already demonstrated some level of interest in your professional persona. Leveraging this pre-existing relationship can be incredibly effective in lead generation, especially if you know the person on the receiving end is a real user.

2. Trust Factor: As mentioned earlier, trust is a vital component of any business interaction. With first-degree connections, there’s an inherent level of trust already established. They are more likely to engage with your content, respond to your messages, and consider your offers.

3. Access to Their Connections: The power of first-degree connections doesn’t stop at your immediate network. Each of your connections has their own network, which you can tap into through introductions and referrals. This extended network can open doors to even more valuable leads and opportunities.

4. Tailored Communication: You have the advantage of knowing more about your first-degree connections – their roles, industries, and interests. This knowledge allows you to craft highly personalized messages and content, increasing the chances of a positive response.

In this video, Brad, a Zopto Campaign Success Strategist, talks about how to build campaigns geared toward your first-degree connections with Zopto:


Strategies for Effective Lead Generation with your First-Degree Connections

Now that we understand the value of first-degree connections, let’s explore some strategies to make the most of this valuable resource.

  • Content Sharing: Start by sharing relevant and engaging content. Whether it’s industry insights, thought leadership pieces, or updates about your business, consistent content sharing keeps you on your connections’ radar and opens the door for back-and-forth dialogue. You can even use Zopto to create and schedule these posts in advance.
  • Engage in Conversations: Don’t just be a passive presence on LinkedIn. Engage in discussions, comment on posts, and participate in groups relevant to your industry. Meaningful interactions help solidify your position as a knowledgeable and approachable professional.
  • Personalized Messages: When you reach out to your first-degree connections with a specific lead generation offer or opportunity, make sure your message is highly personalized. Reference your existing relationship and express why your offer would be valuable to them. You can even use our AI-generated templates to help with the writer’s block. It’s all about delivering value!
  • Leverage Recommendations: LinkedIn’s recommendation feature is a powerful tool. If a first-degree connection is satisfied with your work, don’t hesitate to request a recommendation. Or even leave one yourself! Positive endorsements can boost your credibility and attract potential leads. Here’s how you can do this through Zopto too!
  • Offer Value: Always approach lead generation from the perspective of offering value. Whether it’s a free resource, consultation, or exclusive access, showcasing what you can provide is more likely to yield positive results.

These strategies can help warm a lead before you reach out for a sale. And luckily, with our new Social Engagement features, it’s easier than ever for Zopto users to build brand awareness through passive engagement. You can now set up campaigns that will automatically wish your first-degree connections a happy birthday, or congratulate them on a job change – You can even send out warm holiday messages to keep your brand top-of-mind and take advantage of downtime.

In this video, Brad talks about how to create genuine interactions with this new feature:


In Conclusion

LinkedIn’s commitment to purging fake profiles is a significant step towards making the platform an even more effective social selling tool. When combined with a well-thought-out lead generation strategy targeting first-degree connections, it can be a game-changer for professionals and businesses alike. Remember, the key lies in building relationships, offering value, and staying true to the spirit of professional networking. Here’s to a more genuine and productive LinkedIn experience!


Devanny (dev-uh-knee) is a Social Media Marketer based in Las Vegas. She's a dog lover with a propensity for mystery novels, and when she's not at her laptop working on comprehensive marketing campaigns, she can probably be found running around Disneyland or curled up with a good book!