A view to a shill: LinkedIn’s feel good campaign gives members the chance to feel special, just like everyone else

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Did you receive a congratulatory email for being among the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn? If so, you’re not alone: an estimated 20 million others did, too. Some chose to keep the news to themselves; others clicked on the “Read More” link included in the email, and then clicked again to share the message recommended by LinkedIn as shown above–and that was exactly the idea behind the campaign.

LinkedIn, you see, recognizes that it’s hard to resist the temptation to toot your own horn, especially when you can fool yourself into believing that someone else is doing the tooting. Every congratulatory email, then, carried the promise of shining the spotlight on LinkedIn when in fact the people sharing the message wanted to shine the spotlight on themselves.

What’s the upshot of all this? Well, there’s nothing necessarily wrong with having one of the most viewed profiles on LinkedIn…but there’s also nothing necessarily special about it, either. As this Fast Company piece says, “LinkedIn thinks you’re really great, and so does your mother.”

The bottom line is this: social media scores–how often you’re viewed on LinkedIn, your Klout score, the number of Twitter followers you have–are kind of like tattoos: no one cares about yours nearly as much as you do. Be careful, then, to take it in context and focus not on the fact that you’ve earned some attention, but what you’re going to do with that attention in the future.


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