The key aim of LinkedIn ghosting is for ITTS to help clients build and widen their network of connected contacts within LinkedIn. We assume the identity of specific client account managers using their LinkedIn login profile, so, to all intents and purposes, we will appear to the target audience of contacts as if we are the account manager who is personally seeking engagement. As such we are very sensitive to this and factor this into any interactions that take place whilst we perform this role. The end goal is to recruit further high value and relevant contacts into the clients LinkedIn network.
The focus would be to build out an initial company and contact audience that matches those personas the client account manager wishes to engage with. We use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to assist in this process – alternatively, some clients supply us with a bespoke list of contacts they wish to connect with. Once these contacts are identified, we then search them out within LinkedIn – there is a small possibility the account manager will already be connected with them – if they are we simply move on to the next contact. The process will utilise the clients LinkedIn login in order to access their LinkedIn account.
Phase 1: Initial “Connect” Process
Using the LinkedIn search capability, we will then seek out the contacts in LinkedIn that we have gathered for the client. There is an assumption here that the clients LinkedIn account affords the necessary privileges to conduct wide contact searches (Premium and above).
When we locate the correct contact (making sure they belong to the correct organisation as depicted on LinkedIn) we will then seek to ‘Connect’ with that contact.
In the appropriate invitation box, we first select how we ‘know’ the contact.
We click ‘Other’.
The agent will be asked to enter the contacts email address which we do.
The invitation will as a default read as follows:
I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
We usually enter a more personalised message as follows:
Hi (christianname), I’m the <client name> account manager to your company. Our business is focused on the insurance sector and your name cropped up whilst I was researching another part of your organisation so I thought it would be good to connect directly with you.
For each invitation we issue, we will flag this in our own database noting date and time the ‘Connect’ request was issued.
We then track those contacts who accept the invitation and update the appropriate flag in our database so this can be reported accurately. If a contact sends a more detailed LinkedIn email in reply to the connect request we copy/paste this into our database environment or the SFDC contact record. Naturally, this reply is visible to the client account manager as it’s in their own account.
Phase 2: InMail process
This part of LinkedIn ghosting involves issuing further InMail communication once a contact connects. This email is again personalised and may include a link that will take them to appropriate content or collateral that is chosen by the client account manager – the aim being to offer a piece of interesting material to them and invite them to participate in a further exploratory conference call. If the contact’s engagement with the collateral piece can be tracked (either via our own MA managed service platform if that is being used or the client’s platform) then all the better as this contact can then be followed up with an outbound call should they not reply to the InMail.
Outcomes typically are that we see 20%-50% of invited contacts connecting with the app. 10% of those connecting delivering a lead enquiry. The process typically takes 2-4 weeks to complete.
There are a couple of things to take into account prior to launching:
- When the account manager sends us their LinkedIn login details, they should forward them in a password secured word document (password sent separately).
Prior to forwarding these details, the account manager should change their current LinkedIn password to a temporary one; the temporary password is then used for the duration of the project and once this is concluded, the account manager can change the password again ensuring the integrity of their account is maintained.
- It is worth taking note that the success rate of the ‘connect’ process increases significantly when the account managers LinkedIn profile is fully up to date and complete and includes a photograph.
The overall aim of LinkedIn ghosting is to efficiently and effectively broaden out the client’s contact network and record appropriate success rate and responses.