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When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was introduced in May 2018, it was a game changer and it is now controlling and governing the way in which personal data is handled. This intricate data protection law was issued by the European Union and provides citizens with enhanced rights regarding their data. However, companies also have to act more responsibly in relation to the way in which they handle data.

In its simplest form, GDPR aims to hand over more control to EU residents in regards to their data. Along with this, significant fines have been introduced for companies that fail to act responsibly in the way that they handle and use this data. Fines of 4 per cent of turnover or €20 million are now possible if businesses are seen to break the law. Following the implementation of GDPR, businesses have had to look at their advertising campaigns and ensure that there is real clarity among individuals regarding the marketing communications that they are happy to receive. As a result of this, email advertising has become trickier and it is now considered to be less effective but for businesses that want to reach out, LinkedIn is now providing an alternative while ensuring that businesses are compliant.

Where does LinkedIn fit in?

To begin with, every business that handles data within the EU will be required to register with the relevant authority and put extra measures in place to deal improve data security. LinkedIn, from a GDPR perspective is considered to be a data controller and that means that the platform is solely responsible for ensuring that it remains compliant with GDPR. However, if any users remove data from the platform, then that responsibility passes over to them.

Effectively, if you choose to use LinkedIn on a daily basis, GDPR will not affect you. One immediate, yet small difference will be to your mailing list as that is likely to be smaller than that of the one you were using for email marketing. Despite this, now is the time to expand your network on LinkedIn as this will underpin your lead generation strategy.

What do you need to do to make LinkedIn work?

To begin, you are going to need to grow your network and to do this, you will need to create personalised invitations, with the idea of sending out around 40 per day. After you have sent out those invitations, once you receive responses, you should respond because that will add value to the connection you have just made.

You can also make great use of groups as some of them are significant in size and by that, we are talking hundreds of thousands of members. If you post in these groups, you will be reaching a wider audience than your email list could ever reach. Broadcast messages are also a good tactic to use on LinkedIn and by utilising your contacts list, you can send a message to everyone periodically and before you know it, any clients or potential clients will respond to messages that they receive.

It is important that you follow the right marketing practice and that means that you shouldn’t scrape email addresses or spam and that you should carry out the right research in order to identify the correct people. Communicating one-on-one is a good method to find new contact and build relationships but if any members that you have contacted do not respond then it is time to leave them and move on.

Through the correct research, you can find out vital information about your connections as that will make it possible for you to identify their needs as well as any problems that they might have. This kind of research will demonstrate to them that you have been through in your efforts. Once you get to this point, you can captivate your connections through sharing snippets of information and content that is relevant to your industry.

Businesses will have to put a small amount of effort into providing employees with an understanding of the way in which LinkedIn works, but this will be met with improved engagement, cleaner data, enhanced relationships and an increase in click-through rates. So, all it takes is some forward thinking and showing respect to your prospects because LinkedIn can help you to deal with GDPR while assisting you in growing healthy business relationships.