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2 Things LinkedIn Did Wrong

LinkedIn just did something really cool this week with their most recent “Top Percent-ers” email campaign. They made 20 million users really happy by letting them know their profiles were the most viewed on all of LinkedIn.  That’s no small feat and I’m sure was incredibly hard to pull together across departments internally. Telling users that they are the top 1%, 5%, or 10% makes them feel pretty damn special, and it either reignites their love for the product, or reaffirms it. I know for a minute I was excited that I fell into any of those categories since they have 200 million users.

LinkedIn Top 5%

They stroked a few egos with a well executed email campaign that had the perfect balance of message, design, and ease that resulted in a firestorm of shareable activity. But what did they do wrong?  Two big things.

1) What about the other 90%? 

They missed a serious opportunity to reactivate the “bottom” 90%. They missed out on a teachable moment.  Everyone on the internet loves bragging rights almost as much, if not more than, they love memes and cats. Getting someone to share a big achievement isn’t necessarily a hard thing to do if they’re already some of your most active users. But if you’re trying to bolster site numbers, empower/reactivate a community, market through word of mouth what are you doing for mass majority? Excluding them runs the risk of more negativity than positivity.

The easy answer is at the same time you were sending your 1, 5, 10% emails – you should have also had a similar campaign ready to go to the rest of your userbase. The message could have been quite different and it could have been something to the effect of “We released the numbers of most viewed profiles today. What can you do in the future to improve how often your profile gets viewed?” Then include a link to blog post about most optimized and successful profiles. Or connect them to some of the most influential people doing it right. This way, you wouldn’t have ignored your users, and you would have provided them a resource to be better. Instead there were a few bruised egos out there…

2) Where’s the context?

There’s a serious possibility that the one, five, and ten percent-ers may know each other.  The active online community in social media and professional circles is mind numbingly small.  The level of interconnectedness is actually even pointed out by LinkedIn Labs own map that shows how everyone basically knows everyone.

Jenn Pedde

Quite a few of my friends and colleagues were in my 5% bracket, but one of my coworkers was in the elusive 1% bracket. She’s our VP of Business Development, so it’s no surprise why she is the 1%. What exactly sets her profile apart from mine?  Is it purely number of connections so that they’re viewing her profile more?  Does it come to down to keyword usage? Post updates? Profile modifications?  What exactly gets your profile viewed on a more consistent basis?  A little context would have brought me to my profile to make a few enhancements to try and be better.

An argument can be made for keeping it simple like they did. But as someone in the 5%… I kind of want to know what I have to do to get into the top 1%. That just could be my competitive nature speaking though…

Either way, while there’s no doubt Linked In’s Top Percentage campaign was successful, you can’t help but think, “Could it have been better?”

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About the author

Jenn Pedde

Jenn is a Co-Founder of The Community Manager and the Editor-In-Chief. She’s also an adjunct professor at the Syracuse University School of Information Studies. You can find her almost anywhere online, but specifically on #CmgrChat every Wednesday from 2-3pm ET.

73 comments
cusecomm
cusecomm

@pushingvision @chefkatelyn not yet but at a glance @JPedde wrote it, so now it's a MUST read.

haiji505
haiji505

@future79 届いた瞬間のさして嬉しくない感じといったら・・・

DonorSnap
DonorSnap

@mycmgr I wouldn't give too much value to the % Emails from #Linkedin many got them.

JPedde
JPedde

@AdobeSocial Thanks for the share! :)

JPedde
JPedde

@rodicka Thanks Natalie! Congrats on broken open media btw!! Been meaning to catch up with you on that :)

DonorSnap
DonorSnap

I dont put much weight into Linkedins messaging for this. Almost everyone I know, including myself got one of those emails. It's sort of like the "endorsing" push. Everyone gets it so its not that genuine.

stephawie
stephawie

@JPedde it's just a trophy on the shelf with no meaning and therefore the story wouldnt get shared as widely.

stephawie
stephawie

@JPedde It will be great if @LinkedIn can follow the email with an infographic and tips to provide context and interestingness. Otherwise,

stephawie
stephawie

@JPedde but I think by celebrating the 10%, it'll motivate the keeners of the 90% to be more active and keep the rest pretty much the same.

stephawie
stephawie

@JPedde of connections and have never actively promoted my LinkedIn profile. As for your other point, I think they're missing out on the 90%

stephawie
stephawie

@JPedde Just finished reading your post. I agree with your point 2, which bewildered me so much. I don't post updates and I have a normal #

Georg_Lam
Georg_Lam

Quite Catchy! RT@TheCMgr Linked In had an email campaign this week for their top users. Did you get one? Thoughts? http://t.co/m7yBBzTT

stephawie
stephawie

@JPedde Sweet. I'll read it at the airport tonight. Well, @mercedesbook got the email about 1 week ago & I just got mine today.

usujason
usujason

@BloggerKrista what about they also lied? i'd like to see the actual data, i think that whole 5% thing was complete bullshit.

KellyLux
KellyLux

I think one of the things missing from that email is information on how many people there are in each category and how many views are we talking about?  If the top 1% get 10,000 average views, and the next 5% range from 150 to 9,999 how is this relevant?  I would imagine that 90% of all LinkedIn profiles get exactly ZERO views.  And I'm not telling where I fall on that continuum...

DavidSpinks
DavidSpinks moderator

But to some extent, did this email not make the 90% want to improve their linkedin presence? When they see the 10% bragging about how awesome they are, they get jealous and probably went to linkedin to see how many views their getting, and maybe update their profile.

I totally agree that LinkedIn could have done more to educate the 90% in that case, to understand how they can get more views on their profile.

nickcicero
nickcicero moderator

I have also seen a lot of people post this pic, how many 5%'ers can there be??? The LinkedIn Labs map looks really cool too.

JoeGinese
JoeGinese

All this reminds me of is the letters I'm sure some of us got in college that said, "Congratulations! You've been nominated for the National Who's Who in Colleges & Universities. Please send a check for $49.99 to receive your plaque and yearbook for this great honor." 

It would have been better to take those who they are recognizing for being active (see: actually using the site regularly) and hitting those who haven't logged in in months. An e-mail saying, "Hey Joe, We miss you. Did you know your friend Lisa has had over 10,000 people view her bio? That over 100 people have endorsed your buddy Ed? Come on back, here are a few articles that can show highlight how others have used LinkedIn to reconnect, launch business, and land jobs." 


clconzen
clconzen

@JoeGinese I kind of feel like the LinkedIn % thing is another version of Who's Who

JPedde
JPedde

@lmendersby haha sorry to ruin the fun for you!

Leedsprinter
Leedsprinter

@culturevultures @karenstrunks The only ones who look at yr linkd profile are people wanting to sell u something. The adcampaign is v silly.

LigiaAdam
LigiaAdam

@amvlad discutabil, e flatant pana pe la 60%, iar restul care nu-s active users probabil au primit alt tip de mesaj @andrazaharia

EButtsCPA
EButtsCPA

Good points. I had no idea why I was getting that email “@Daily_Pinch: 2 Things LinkedIn Did Wrong http://t.co/xmC0u9GP via @TheCMgr”

davevandewalle
davevandewalle

I'm in exactly NO brackets...i.e., I received nothing from LinkedIn. Nothing.

I'm rather meh about the whole thing, anyway; but you're right that they didn't do much for that other 90%.

JPedde
JPedde

@DFigurito @Jmodio Thanks! :)

mcdirk
mcdirk

@christuttle @askdebra @TheCMgr Interesting! I had wondered about that campaign when I saw it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Jenn Pedde, Things LinkedIn Did Wrong, 11 février 2013, […]

  2. […] didn’t get an e-mail? Don’t fret, I’ve got you covered. In fact a few people pointed out what a huge opportunity LinkedIn missed out on. Instead of just rubbing the top 10% of their […]

  3. […] didn’t get an e-mail? Don’t fret, I’ve got you covered. In fact a few people pointed out what a huge opportunity LinkedIn missed out on. Instead of just rubbing the top 10% of their […]