Are you one of the 200 million people around the world who maintain a LinkedIn profile with at least 50 connections? If you are, you’re probably among the “elite” who received a message of congratulations this week! The congratulatory messages vary slightly in terms of content from person to person but, in general, recipients received something similar to this:

The inviting yellow button invites intrigued users to find out more. Once you click you are led to a letter from the SVP, encouraging you to share the status through every available social network platform. A very crafty marketing scheme don’t you think? An easy, instant promotion win for LinkedIn.

Opinions about the validity of the message have varied across the spectrum. There are, of course, those who have felt genuinely proud of their achievement and have shared the status showing off their newly recognised social rank. However, many have realised that if they have been awarded a position in the top 5% approximately 10 million other LinkedIn users have also received the same message. A significant majority of the 10 million people who have received the message have used it to poke fun at the professional networking site. I noticed many statuses and tweets on my social news feed of people making fun of the message from LinkedIn, similar to this.

Whether the updates people have posted are positive or negative, the important thing here is that LinkedIn has been extremely successful in creating a buzz around their membership achievement. It’s provoked many discussions and debates as to the purpose of their message. Diane Truman, the editor-in-chief of Zillow, said that she found it “creepy” whilst others have argued that it is very “spammy” and not entirely credible. Either way, it can be seen as a win-win situation – engaging users from all over the Globe.

LinkedIn isn’t the first to deploy such tactics; Kred issued a very similar campaign where it congratulated those who hit the top 1%, 5% and 10% level. It also worked on the simple principle that people love to be made to feel special and be rewarded. However, the buzz created was short lived, and the campaign isn’t really something which can be expanded on. In fact, those who did post the status did not receive many retweets or favourites.

I‘m sure that this will not be the end of LinkedIn’s attempts at marketing, however it may want to brainstorm an approach which will conjure up more positive feedback.

 

Sources

Diane Truman, Hey, look at me! I’m in LinkedIn’s Top 5%, The Guardian

Sarah Britten, 5 things about LinkedIn that will drive you completely mad, memeburn

Image courtesy of See-Ming Lee, “SML = one of the top 5% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012” under a creative commons attribution 2.0 generic license

 

 

 

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