A love letter to LinkedIn (sorta), originally posted on LinkedIn on Valentine’s Day, of course.
This Tuesday 2¢, I had a splendid pithy idea for my blog that you would have loved, honestly, some of my best work, but I wrote the outline in Google Keep, which, inexplicably, has failed to err.. Keep. I feel like I’ve been ghosted, it was honestly there, and Google is convincing me that my idea never happened.
Anyway, it’s Valentine’s day, why focus on the big tech lover that has spurned or is ghosting me, let’s focus on the one true love for content creators and marketers right now, LinkedIn. And, of course, I should express this love on LinkedIn.
Noooo.. I am not gaming the algorithm, how dare you.
Big tech, the once great levellers that democratised content distribution, are now in a race for revenue to be gained from the scant resource that is attention, and their algorithms seem to be against us marketers or content creators. The halcyon days of building an audience via organic reach seem to have long gone, and the algorithm needs to be paid or played.
Played with a headline that gives our doom scroller a reason to stop with a sugar rush of outrage or titillation, or paid, with, err.. money and probably an equal amount of shock and titillation to make our paid ads deliver a return. It doesn’t matter if the attention is earned or paid, the hook is the same, and the headline and the teaser need to create a reaction to click.
And when you hear this, you think of Google, Facebook and Twitter. How far have their stars fallen in terms of being a champion of the creator? Pay-per-click on Google is basically a tax on any business, especially in B2C, and enough has been said on Elon’s Twitter which is on the hustle to pay the bills.
But, our Valentine, LinkedIn, seems to be untarnished. When social media is being discussed as a teenager-corrupting, money-grabbing cesspool, LinkedIn never gets mentioned.
Yet, if you want to play, the algorithm shows you no favours in terms of organic growth if you want to take traffic away from the platform. And if you want to pay, it’s jolly expensive – and cannot detect buyer intent as a Google search can. And it’s rented land, if you pay or play to get followers, that community is not yours, it’s theirs.
And yet, you have the bastions of the content marketing mantra that you shouldn’t build on rented land, creating newsletters here. It’s got to the point that you feel a bit daft creating a newsletter anywhere else, especially if you are of the B2B persuasion (I did the daft thing with Rockstar CMO if you are interested 🙂).
How is our B2B beloved any different from the other b**tards?
It’s because the audience here is a premium product, yes, there might be the odd fake account, but the people here are broadly socially validated. And, because we trust it, we go on to share our careers, business interests and skills with it (of course, because there is something in it for us, that is way more important than Facebook’s original concept of meeting girls – our future financial security).
And, as the data is good, the audience is real, and content creators are overcoming the friction of renting this land to reach us, maybe the ads are better? Try reading a promoted article on LinkedIn versus falling into the shanty town of ads that is Forbes, or, well, Twitter or Facebook today.
What’s my point?
I often start these things on a Tuesday evening with a glass of wine not quite sure where I will go with them, just hoping to post while it’s still Tuesday in somebodies timezone, and this regular rant seems to have turned into an ad.
I think it’s the complex business of trust.
At face value, LinkedIn is not so different to the others, but like your brand or business, there are a number of small factors that add up to being trusted.
So, merry Valentine’s LinkedIn.
The image was created using A.I. through NightCafe Creator – I thought it would make a change from pictures of me. 🙂
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CMO at Spotler Group, advisor at Storyblok and Orange Logic and founder of Rockstar CMO. Not a rock star, but I am a marketing strategist, content marketer, columnist, speaker, industry watcher, but most of all; creator of ART (Awareness, Revenue, and Trust) for the companies I work with.
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The half-baked thoughts shared on this blog may not reflect those of my employer or clients, and if the topic of this article is interesting or you just want to say hello please get in touch.