Why Spamming LinkedIn with ‘Like Bait’ is Doing Your Brand No Favours

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I am interested to know how many of my 1452737+ followers on LinkedIn actually read my updates. If you see this, then like it so I can see how popular I am and feel all warm and happy with myself that this update has spammed the newsfeed of 50,000 strangers.

Look familiar?

Oh the joys of being popular on a social network. This is exactly how George Clooney must feel ALL THE TIME! So many people looking at something I made and hitting that little thumbs up icon, approving of my efforts!

LinkedIn Spam

Sigh…

So now ‘like spam’ has made it’s way to LinkedIn huh.  The last bastion of actual social information without the overt popularity contest updates.

‘Like Spam’ appears to have now contaminated every major social network.

Youtube

There you are happily watching the latest clip of a kitten chasing it’s tail on YouTube and you figure YouTube could do with an insightful comment from you.

But what is this? OMG! This comment says that If I don’t like it within 15 minutes then YouTube will become paid subscription! Yipes, I better like and share it!

A few years ago, YouTube was full of these things. Nearly every video was full of people looking for thumbs ups and comments, all of which contributed towards their YouTube channel being featured front and center in comments and search results due to their perceived popularity. That’s why these existed for the most part. Each like helped boost these people’s YouTube profile.

And guess what… YouTube is still a (mostly) free service.
“YOU MEAN THAT CHAIN LETTER LIED!”

Twitter

Oh Twitter. It’s like the social platform with hardcore ADHD. BAM! Read this. BAM! Nope, here’s something else instead! BAM! Wait, here’s a different one! BAM. BAM. BAM!

It’s getting harder and harder to know what is and what isn’t spam these days on Twitter. Luckily, the mass saturation of updates means that a lot of the time you don’t even need to worry about it. You can easily just ignore a Tweet because there are 500 more that replace it within a couple of minutes.

Like Spam on Twitter comes in the form of ‘Retweet this if you <insert statement here>’

Retweet SPam

Each retweet give exposure to the account in the hopes of gaining more followers. And yes, I get that this is how Twitter works but it’s still spam.

Facebook

‘Like if you hate cancer. Ignore if you don’t’.

You know this one huh. The gratuitous use of photos of sick kids or disfigured war vets or more recently that poor girl in India who was raped.

Facebook Like Spam

It’s the most well-known and most horrifically nasty yet effective ‘like spam’ on social networks. Designed to capitalise on tragedy and often tug on the heart-strings of users to boost the account’s EdgeRank, which in-turn makes the reach of these accounts on Facebook much greater.

I’ve discussed this type of spam in more depth here: All About Facebook Like Scams.

And now… LinkedIn

The latest guest to the Like Spam party. Welcome guys. It really sucks to have you here.

LinkedIn Spam

I’ll let you in on a well known secret, LinkedIn now shares all interactions you do via your own wall with your followers on their wall. If you like an article one of your connections has posted, your entire connection list is going to receive that update on your behalf.

This includes anyone who likes one of these “I’m curious how many people see this update” posts.

So why are people doing this?

Well, LinkedIn currently doesn’t really have an EdgeRank or quality score type of formula based on it (yet). Searches for job types and skill sets still work as per normal search parametres and require manual eliminators to narrow down results. So as far as the amount of people who ‘like’ your update is concerned, it doesn’t effect your LinkedIn performance.

So, if there is no algorithmic benefit to it (like YouTube or Facebook has), perhaps it is just about exposure. The more likes you get, the more exposure your name and profile will get on strangers newsfeeds.

Now, I get that LinkedIn is full of business professionals that are all about building their brand and getting exposure to their business, but is spamming the hell out of half a million strangers newsfeed really doing you or your brand any favors?  My guess would be no.

LinkedIn-Spam-2

Sure, an additional 50 people may have clicked on your profile to see who it was that was responsible for this awesome update but what commercial or professional benefit do you think it will bring?

Oh, your Klout score went up! AWESOME! You da man!

Guess what? Those 250 thumbs up’s are not doing anything positive for you or your brand in real life. In fact, it’s actually making you look like a bit of an attention-seeking dick to be honest.

You’ve taken the worst part of all other social platforms and brought it to your professional workplace. Congratulations.

LinkedIn’s catch phrase is ‘Over 175 million professionals use LinkedIn to exchange information, ideas and opportunities’.

What part of that Like Spam update achieved any of those things for you?

So please, at least on behalf of me – a surly, search nerd from Melbourne – please keep the popularity rubbish that has contaminated the experience of other social platforms off LinkedIn.

Don’t like these updates.
Don’t post these updates. 

Author

Who the hell is Daylan Pearce?

Daylan currently heads up the Search team at Next Digital - Australia's largest independently owned digital agency. Passionate about online marketing, AFL & comic books, Daylan has been featured in The New York Times, News.com.au, B&T, ProBlogger and more. He once ate 13 McDonald's cheeseburgers in under 5 minutes, but strongly advises against anyone else ever trying that. He also feels slightly odd when writing about himself in the third person for blog biography summaries.

 

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