LinkedIn’s Top % Award – What It Really Says About You

seal_in

Love it or hate it, this is a clever little bit of marketing that has divided LinkedIn members.

With LinkedIn now with 200 million profiles – notice that I didn’t say users – LinkedIn decided to reward their most active subscribers with a formal badge of honour.

Look at me! Oh wait hang on a second….

Let’s quickly do some sums here though to understand what it actually means. I have seen several subscribers proudly displaying their “I’ve in the top 10% of LinkedIn” so I thought it was worth breaking down what this actually is.

20% of 200 million = 40 million received these “awards”

10% of 200 million = 20 million received these “awards”

5% of 200 million = 10 million received these “awards”

1% of 200 million = 2 million received these “awards”

To give this a little perspective on this:

20 million people live in New York, California, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio and Dallas……combined.

Or

40 million people is the total population of Argentina

Here Come The “how to be as successful as me on LinkedIn” Services

So why have so many people posted this accomplishment? This has routes in our deeper psychology and self image. We all want to be respected and acknowledged for our contribution and without LinkedIn naming publicly the most viewed profiles they have given their subscribers to do the job for them.

This makes the top percenters feel somewhat exclusive – part of an elite on LinkedIn. It can also have the effect of those who did not receive an award a sense of desire to achieve this badge of honour.

As with all awards it often presents more questions than it answers. For which there is always a market. I expect that there are already some savy social marketers who have started work on their new product “how to be a 5%er on LinkedIn”.

Social proof

And this is why social media will continue to grow. One of our natural mentalities is that of belonging to a pack. In the psychology of influencing social proof is one of the most effective forms of influencing someone – “how many twitter followers do you have?”, “how many LinkedIn connections do you have?” etc. We are hard wired to believe to go with the majority. Social proof isn’t just psychology – it’s biology.

Without getting too scientific our brains evolved over millions of years – developing our use of social proof. It is only in the last few thousand years that the prefrontal cortex developed to provide rational, cognitive thought. And those who say “I’m not swayed by what everyone else does” is engaging this part of their brain.

There are other aspects of influencing psychology that this campaign develops upon very well. But these will have to wait for another time.

Finally consider this:

I was reminded this from a friend high up in the entertainment industry: “Don’t believe your own hype”. Be proud of your accomplishments, your achievements, your contributions and your successes. But be proud of the right ones for the right reasons.

Advertisements

One thought on “LinkedIn’s Top % Award – What It Really Says About You

  1. Great article – the maths says it all – an exclusive club of millions. What I found interesting was that the most viewed profile was Barack Obama – over 500,000 views – with over 700,000 connections and having looked at his profile no activity – what does that say? The award seems to have generated a lot of debate which is positive as it is people engaging. Your quote from your friend high up in the entertainment industry sums it up very well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s