LinkedIn automation is a topic of some debate in social marketing spheres. Are LinkedIn automation tools allowed? Or will they get your account restricted, or even see you banned from the platform?
The short answer is, it depends. Many tools that automate activity on LinkedIn are specifically prohibited. But LinkedIn also works with approved marketing partners to help recruiters, marketers, and advertisers automate some of their tasks on the platform, from finding candidates to managing ad campaigns.
In this post, we explain how to stay on the white hat side of the LinkedIn automation equation. Plus, we share some of the best (legitimate) LinkedIn automation tools to improve your efficiency on this business-first social network.
Bonus: Download a free step-by-step guide to combining organic and paid social tactics into a winning LinkedIn strategy.
LinkedIn automation is the process of using specialized tools to automate some LinkedIn tasks.
Some types of LinkedIn automation tools are prohibited on LinkedIn and violate the LinkedIn use agreement. We won’t be talking about those kinds of tools in this post, other than to tell you to avoid them.
Instead, we’ll talk about legitimate LinkedIn tools that help you make the most of your time on the platform without breaking the rules, including authorized LinkedIn partner tools like Hootsuite.
All the LinkedIn automated tools on this list come from LinkedIn itself or official LinkedIn marketing partners. That means they are all legitimate tools approved for use on the platform.
Among the various types of LinkedIn marketing tools, LinkedIn scheduling tools may be the easiest to use. They can offer huge time savings for busy salespeople, recruiters, and social media professionals.
These tools help automate tasks associated with posting content on LinkedIn. Scheduling your content in advance allows you to create your content in dedicated blocks of time. This is much more efficient than interrupting your workflow throughout the day.
Hootsuite Composer allows you to schedule content to your connected LinkedIn personal profile or company page for any date and time in the future. When you click the Schedule button, Hootsuite recommends suggested times to post for the best results. Or, you can choose your own posting time. You can edit or delete scheduled posts anytime from Hootsuite Planner, which offers a calendar view of all your scheduled posts, across networks.
If you want to schedule multiple LinkedIn posts at the same time, you can use Hootsuite’s Bulk Composer to schedule up to 350 messages at once.
Cost: Hootsuite plans start at $99/month, with a 30-day free trial.
The built-in LinkedIn scheduling tool allows you to schedule posts up to 90 days in advance. You can use it directly within the LinkedIn interface – as long as you’re on a desktop or Android. (It’s not yet available for iOS.) It works for personal profiles only, not company pages, so it’s more useful for individuals than brands.
We’ve got a full blog post that walks you through the step-by-step details of how to schedule posts on LInkedIn using both of these tools. More of a visual learner? Here’s a video that explains how to use both of these LinkedIn scheduling tools.
Any task worth doing is worth measuring. LinkedIn analytics tools show you how the time and energy you put into LinkedIn are paying off. Studying your LInkedIn Analytics helps you understand what’s working and what’s not so you can refine your strategy over time.
The best LinkedIn analytics tools also include automated reporting functionalities. This is useful when you want to share your findings with the rest of your team and other relevant stakeholders.
Hootsuite Analytics helps you understand how your LinkedIn strategy is working by tracking metrics like:
- follower growth
You can also see how your LInkedIn efforts compare to your other social channels.
The easy-to-understand charts and graphics are exportable so you can easily include them in your social media report.
To automate your LinkedIn reporting with Hootsuite Analytics, start with a template report. Then drag-and-drop the included reporting tiles into the locations you prefer, or add new ones as you choose. Finally, set the data exports for automated delivery to your email address on whatever schedule makes the most sense for you.
Cost: Hootsuite plans start at $99/month, with a 30-day free trial.
LinkedIn Page admins have access to LinkedIn’s built-in Page analytics tool. It allows you to track visitors, followers, leads, competitors, and content effectiveness. You can also drill down to see the metrics for specific LinkedIn Page posts.
Individual LinkedIn members can use Profile analytics to see who’s viewed your page and how many people found you through LInkedIn searches. You can also track the results for individual posts, articles, and videos.
Cost: Free for all LInkedIn members, but premium LinkedIn users have access to much more extensive data on who accessed their profile.
For details, check out our blog post on how to use all of these LInkedIn analytics tools effectively.
These LinkedIn prospecting tools help you connect with the people most likely to be interested in your business. Lead generation is an important part of social selling, as you need to nurture relationships over time to maximize your sales.
Remember: While most LinkedIn automated messaging tools violate the platform’s terms and conditions, the tools listed here are all approved for use on LinkedIn.
When combined with a lead generation form, LinkedIn Sponsored Messaging can be an effective way to fill your lead pipeline. The LinkedIn Lead Gen form is automatically pre-populated with LinkedIn profile data. Users can complete the form to sign up for your offer with just a couple of clicks or taps.
Cost: Auction model billed per impression or click.
Source: LinkedIn Sales Solutions
For B2B sales professionals, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is another valuable lead generation tool. It includes extended network access, advanced search, lead recommendations, and the ability to save leads and get relevant alerts.
Cost: Plans start at $79.99 per month.
Bombora monitors 2.8 million businesses across more than 6,000 B2B topics, then uses data science to predict buying intent. Bombora integrates with LinkedIn Campaign Manager to allow brands to target the most relevant leads based on topics of interest.
Cost: Enterprise pricing is provided on request. Subscriptions run for 24 months with an option to pay annually.
LeadsBridge allows you to integrate LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms with LinkedIn Matched Audiences and your CRM. It’s designed to help you understand the best time to contact leads and includes customizable lead capture options.
Cost: Free basic plan, with more robust plans starting at $22/month.
LinkedIn may be the most business-oriented social platform, but it’s still a social platform. That means engaging with your audience – and encouraging them to engage with you – is a critical part of your strategy.
Hootsuite has a couple of features that can help automate and improve LinkedIn engagement.
First, the Best Time to Publish tool shows you the best time to post your LInkedIn content to maximize engagement with your audience. The interactive recommendation heatmap shows the average engagement rate for your posts for a specific day and time.
The recommended posting times are based on activity from your specific audience within the last 30 days.
Second, Hootsuite Streams make it easy to view and respond to comments on your LinkedIn content, as well as monitoring content from other LInkedIn users with whom you’d like to engage, all on one screen.
Finally, Hootsuite Inbox allows you to manage conversations on your LinkedIn Page with automated message responses to common questions and the ability to assign LinkedIn messages to other team members for follow-up.
Cost: Hootsuite plans start at $99/month, with a 30-day free trial
Rather than boosting engagement on your LinkedIn content, 6sense is all about using LinkedIn to engage the right accounts to maximize sales. The platform combines intent and engagement data with other information from its customer data platform to predict which LinkedIn accounts are ready to buy at the earliest possible stage.
Cost: Free basic plan, with enterprise pricing available upon request.
LinkedIn is a goldmine for recruiters, but it can be overwhelming to find the best candidates from among the platform’s 875 million users. These tools can help narrow the field so you spend more time engaging with potential new recruits, rather than searching and scrolling.
Source: LinkedIn Talent Solutions
Using unauthorized LinkedIn automated messaging tools to reach potential new hires is a quick way to get yourself in trouble on the platform. Fortunately, LinkedIn Recruiter itself includes both bulk LinkedIn outreach features and customizable InMail templates.
It also allows you to narrow your search for the best candidates using custom filters and tailored candidate recommendations.
Cost: Recruiter Lite costs $170/month but does not include bulk messaging. For full Professional or Enterprise plan pricing, contact the LinkedIn Sales Team.
13. ATS integrations
Source: LinkedIn Talent Solutions
ATS integrations connect your applicant tracking system with LinkedIn Jobs and LinkedIn Recruiter. Among other benefits for recruiters, this allows candidates to apply for your jobs directly from the LinkedIn interface using custom screening questions.
More than 30 ATS integrations are available, including ADP, Oracle, and Saba.
Cost: LinkedIn does not charge for ATS Integrations, but some ATS providers may charge a fee for certain features.
LinkedIn advertising is the fastest way to get your LinkedIn content in front of a targeted audience that’s larger than your existing network.
These LinkedIn advertising tools help you manage your campaigns for the greatest results with the least effort.
Hootsuite Social Advertising tracks your paid and organic LinkedIn performance in one dashboard, alongside results from all your other social channels. You can use it to plan and publish LinkedIn ads directly from the Hootsuite dashboard while managing your ad budget across all social platforms.
This particular suite of LinkedIn marketing tools is all about streamlining your content creation, reporting, and analytics for LinkedIn ads and understanding how they fit into your overall social marketing strategy.
Ambine is an advertising tool specifically designed for B2B marketers looking to optimize their advertising budgets. It reallocates budget to the best-performing ads and includes a beta campaign scheduler to pause and reactivate campaigns weekly to avoid unresponsive days.
Cost: Plans start at €500/month.
Dreamdata is a B2B revenue attribution platform that helps you establish the ROI of LinkedIn advertising campaigns. It provides a visualization of the customer journey, mapping all sessions and contacts.
Cost: Free basic plan, with Team plans starting at $999/month.
LinkedIn automation is not illegal, but using unauthorized automation tools is against the LinkedIn User Agreement and could get you into serious trouble on the platform. Your account could be restricted.
Legitimate LinkedIn automation tools can help save you time on manual tasks like posting content and analyzing your results. They can also make it easier for you to use LinkedIn more efficiently to bring in more leads.
We may be biased, but we think the best tool for LinkedIn is Hootsuite. It includes functions to help automate LinkedIn scheduling, analytics, engagement, and advertising. As an official LinkedIn Marketing Partner, Hootsuite is an approved LinkedIn automation tool that is allowed for use on the platform.
Easily manage your LinkedIn Page and all your other social channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule and share content (including video), reply to comments and engage your network. Try it free today.