LinkedIn pulls off clever publicity stunt: You’re special.
You began to notice a suspicious pattern. Your social timeline began to fill up with similar posts from others, all claiming to have received similar congratulatory messages from LinkedIn.
February 13, 2013 5:59 by kippreport
Over the past week or so, as LinkedIn really got into celebrating the 200-million user milestone, you may have noticed that the company has reached out to you. You were told that your profile was one of the top 10, 5 or even 1 percent of the most viewed in 2012. You were beginning to feel pretty special about yourself. You may have even posted about it on Facebook or Twitter. You may have told yourself that your professional profile is definitely worth a second look, or that your hair was extremely well-styled in your display picture.
Of course, then you began to notice a suspicious pattern. Your social timeline began to fill up with similar posts from others, all claiming to have received similar congratulatory messages from LinkedIn.
Kipp isn’t the first to pop that bubble we call our ‘digital ego’ but we certainly won’t be the last. It’s nothing more than a marketing scheme; and a clever one at that. You see, while LinkedIn has a lot to be proud of, their one insecurity seems to be the lack of active members. Yes, their user base may have just crossed 200 million but how many of those are as active as a social network would like their members to be?
We all know people that are hardly ever active on it, using it primarily to accept the odd invitation or two. In fact, you may be one of those people and LinkedIn wanted that changed. Still, as clever as this marketing stunt was – and as much as it initially spoke to users on a personal level – will it backfire now that we have begun to realise that we’re not that special after all?
“I think it’s very unlikely that it’s an outright lie,” says Ayman Itani, founder of MediaLab. “It could have been done differently, and it was unclear how it was calculated. That should have been clarified to the users.”
Ultimately, you can bash LinkedIn over this campaign all you want but ask yourself first whether you would have done the same. The main achieved objective was that it got a lot of people talking about them on other social profiles; something that incidentally hasn’t happened in quite some time, according to Itani. LinkedIn realised that by reaching out to customers, they’re more likely to be active or perk up their profiles a bit more. They were willing to take that risk. People love being congratulated, told that they’re special and more importantly, personally reached out to.
“Although LinkedIn’s latest marketing stunt was a bit of a gamble; in the sense that they risked offending some people who figured out that it was for publicity, it is still considered a smart campaign,” confirms Sarah Rassasse, Social Media Expert and Strategist at Prototype. “I think the number of people that figured it out is actually small compared to people who hadn’t spent much time analysing the message.”
What do you think? Do you feel put off by LinkedIn’s campaign?