The LinkedIn terms of service have been updated and this new line appears.
This means that all “done for you” services or if you run a Linkedin account for an employee, you are in direct contravention of LinkedIn’s terms of service.
Let's Take a Step Back
You have asked a company to bid on a piece of work and you ask to see a representative and you organise a zoom call. The person that turns up for the meeting, says "I don't work for the company that you asked to bid, I would for their marketing agency. They couldn't be bothered to turn up so I got sent along instead." What would you do? Would you go ahead with the meeting with somebody who clearly didn't represent the business and probably couldn't answer the relevant questions? Either way I'm 100% sure you wouldn't take that company forward in the selection.
Why? Because if they couldn't be bothered, why could you. If this is the position in real life, why is it OK on social? Employing a "done for you service" just proves you cannot be bothered and you need to treat any company that uses such a service with the contempt it deserves.
Anyway, Linkedin has stepped in and have confirmed having a "done for you service" IS ILLEGAL.
What Does This Mean?
This means that if you have a PR company, a Marketing Agency, a Linkedin "Done for you service" or even you own marketing team running your Linkedin profile, this, according to LinkedIn is illegal.
What Are the Consequences?
If you are caught, Linkedin will close your account. Forever.
There is no aburtration, there is nobody you can appeal to, it's closed and all of the network you have built up over time is lost. You will also have to explain to the person(s) the truth that you have being doing something illegal.
I Won't Get Caught
Many people may well think they won't get caught. Be aware that Linkedin have access to all the connection requests you send. (For clarification, they have access and can read, all the connection request and messages you send.) If you are using a company to send connection requests (or using an app to do it) it's not difficult for LinkedIn to spot a different tone in voice, from say a CEO and say the agency you are using.
Let's not forget that if you have your LinkedIn profile reported, it's a possibility if you think how annoying sending lots of spam messages is. Very soon LinkedIn will cut your profile. Who does a thing like that.
What Does DLA Ignite Think?
This is a wonderful validation of everything that we have been saying for the last 5 years. Linkedin is about being authentic, it's about being you, it's not about getting your PR agency, your marketing agency or some "done for you service". You wouldn't send a person from your marketing agency to represent you at a meeting, they might say something wrong. It would be deemed rude, so why would you do it on social.
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing for other companies. No hard sell, just take you through what other companies are doing to transform.
“you will not a create a false identity on LinkedIn, misrepresent your identity, create a member profile for anyone other than yourself, or use, or attempt to use, another account“ 8.2.a of LinkedIn User Agreement. (Bold section highlighted by me!)