LinkedIn’s clever marketing gets people talking

I learned last week that LinkedIn was sending e-mails congratulating subscribers on having profiles that get a lot of views.

“LinkedIn wrote me and said my profile was among the top 10% viewed for 2012. Did anybody else get that?” wrote a writer’s forum user.

I hadn’t received a message saying I was even in the top 20 percent, so I was impressed with the original poster’s “accomplishment” and wondered how he had achieved it.

“Sandra, congratulations!”

And then, my own very special message arrived in my Outlook inbox this morning! Oh happy day!

“Sandra, congratulations! You have one of the top 1% most viewed LinkedIn profiles for 2012!” it announced.

And then I thought about it. That’s 1 percent of 200 million subscribers. So my profile, was, um, in the top 2 million of profiles viewed. Doesn’t sound as good when you put it like that, does it?

Meanwhile, back on the forum . . .

Back on the forum, one of the users had shared a link to an LA Times article that explained the significance of the rankings. It was all just a marketing ploy — a very clever effort by LinkedIn to get people talking about their ranking on other social networking sites. The e-mail messages we received even included a link to a personalized URL that automates the sharing process on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Does it mean anything? I’m not sure.  It’s not a goal I was shooting for, but it did make me think about how it might have happened.

It’s probably due to my participation in several books-related groups, where I share links to helpful information, comment on topics that interest me, and ask and answer questions. Like Twitter, LinkedIn contributes to my professional development by introducing me to smart people and helpful resources while it helps me learn more about what authors struggle with when promoting their books.

I don’t need to be ranked to keep doing that. But, hey, Linked In: Reward me with an upgrade me to a complimentary premium account and I’ll do even more to support your marketing efforts!

Did you receive a LinkedIn profile view message? What’s your percentage?

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  1. Yes, received an email this morning stating that I was in the top 1% of profiles viewed on linkedin. I noticed on the update section of linkedin that many people had 20%, 10% or 5%, but I only viewed one 1%, beside mine. I’m not a math major, but the top 1% seems better than the top 20%.

  2. Yes Sandra, I got a 10% yesterday. For face value I will take being in any 10% group anytime. I thought about it and having never seen anything like it in over 4 years I realized what it really was a marketing ploy on their part and did not do a re-post. Have seen many others posting their “accomplishment.” But if you step back for just a second. Someone new to LinkedIn or sees it on a FB page, may very well think you are really “in there.” They may believe that maybe what you have to say really is of great value. Thus, you could indeed get more hits. I am going to sit on this for a while. Have my 3rd book coming out next month and may just use it to help drive folks to my new book. You are very active on LinkedIn so I can see you getting that 1%. Don’t throw it under the bus yet – ha.

    1. I think you’re absolutely right, Jerry. People who see these tweets, updates, etc. — hey, even people who post them — don’t know what’s behind this, so sure, maybe they would be impressed! On the surface, it looks like something. But if you think about it even a little, you can see that it’s little more than a fact, rather than an “achievement.” I will say, though, that when I Google people I need to find to interview, etc., one of the first options that pops up in the search results is their LinkedIn profile, so that has to contribute to profile views too, right?

      : )


  3. I Had a top 5%, like you I wasn’t aiming to beat anybody and never thought anybody saw my profile. You made it sound like a cheap scam, perhaps it is. I almost deleted my profile in July of last year.

    1. Cheap scam? Did I say that? I described it as a very clever marketing ploy.

      There’s nothing cheap about this — they spent a lot of money to analyze data, send out so many corresponding personalized e-mails, and create personalized web pages for the millions of people who received messages.

      There’s marketing value in this for LinkedIn, but is there any marketing value for you? Perhaps — it could be considered one more form of social proof.


  4. You are welcome Sandy 🙂

    You asked how much I gained?
    One of my books won an award in October, it has not sold a copy since. Despite continued good reviews and write ups, and growing interest (including my editor) in the second in the series.
    I may sound a kill-joy, but with that behind me, I think you can understand my reticence in these figures and the effects for us.


  5. Sandy, I was using LinkedIn as a gathering place for information. I have done well, as I made contact with my editor Julia via here. Otherwise, I would have been flying blind as my former editor had no idea how to edit.

    Most of my work is done via my blogs these days.


  6. I got a great piece of software recommended to me by Julia. Autocrit, in my opinion it is better than Word, Sandy. Autocrit only allows a certain number of repeated words and by so doing, you have to keep an active mind 🙂


  7. I would trade all this for one or two sales of my book. I feel bad that so many people helped me get the award and nothing came of it. But, that is me through and through. I do agree with Sonia, it did give me a boost to get it. It made not selling, a little easier to swallow.

      1. Tom, I don’t think most book readers even think about posting reviews. Do you know if Amazon nudges them to write one on the free Kindle downloads?


  8. I’d received 5% and took it at face value. Coupled with 1/2 million additional new listeners to PWRTALK, inc. an internet talk radio network, numbers don’t lie, only people do. As for exposure . . . book an interview on my station. It helps spread the word to over 200 countries plus.

  9. I received a top 5% from LinkedIn and used it to bring members to my profile by announcing it in every group I am a member. If a few come to my profile, see my book and decide to purchase it than their marketing ploy is to my benefit.

  10. I was in the top 1%. I’ve been on LinkedIn since Day #1, for ten years helping executives learn how to leverage it during career transition and now using it to help companies and non-profits use it as well as authors.

    I see that there is no substitute for one- on-one connection. After years of connecting I find that now people reach out to connect with me first.

    I always connect if the person looks like he or she has a professional profile. I also then ask two questions, first, why did he or she reach out to connect and, second, what one thing could we do to exchange support for one another.

    Then I ask if the person would like a complementary copy of my most recent book and if they like it, would they consider doing a review on Amazon.

    I have had over twenty in the last month who said they would be happy to do a review.

    My top goal is to make good first impressions and connections. The 1% ranking just shows me what I am doing is working.

    1. Melissa, you have a great attitude!You possess the right positive attitude and that’s why you’ve been successful on linkedin, and probably at most other things in your life. When you plant positive seeds in your brain, you get positive results.

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