Baer Facts, Social Media Tools

The Best Social Media Advice I Learned in Kindergarten

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Social Media Controversies Addressed, Fresh Each Week

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In this edition of The Baer Facts, I talk with Kyle Lacy of ExactTarget about LinkedIn’s recent marketing program whereby they sent emails to members announcing their profiles were in the top 10%, 5%, or 1% of all profiles viewed. (excellent coverage about it from LinkedIn consultant Andy Foote)

As Andy and others pointed out, being in the top 1% of Linkedin profiles puts you in the top 2 MILLION members. Not a club that’s as exclusive as NFL quarterbacks, or Super Bowl half-time show performers, or even “people who can make a really, really good omelette.” Despite the sheep in wolf’s clothing nature of the 1% announcement, many social media participants (including Kyle, he readily admits) did a little #humblebrag chest thumping and posted about it.

As a marketing tactic, it’s an interesting case study. LinkedIn certainly became a topic of conversation in ways that it usually is not, and most assuredly millions upon millions of members went to look at their own profile. (whether this is a net positive or not is worth considering. As my friend Adam Pierno told me, he got a 5% email and then went back to the site and thought – “geez, if I’m in the top 5% why am I not benefitting more from LinkedIn?”)

Whiplash From The Backlash

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But to me, the more interesting byproduct of the LinkedIn campaign is the pillorying of people who posted about their 10/5/1% designation. Just about anyone in the social media cognoscenti who had the unmitigated gall to mention they were in the top 1% on LinkedIn was instantly besieged by smarty pantses pointing out that it was only the top 2 million, and how foolish the whole exercise was, and how dare they post about it, etc.

This is what is wrong with social media.

Yes, it’s an interconnected world; Facebook and its brethren have succeeded in tying us all together like a digital cats cradle. But just because you see someone’s Facebook status in your stream, or see their tweets from time-to-time, or stumble across their LinkedIn updates, does NOT give you (in my estimation) the right to unilaterally attack them and tell them they are “doing it wrong.” A Facebook status update isn’t a blog post with a comments section; it’s not an invitation for your bile and vitriole.

If you don’t like that someone posted about their LinkedIn profile percentage – or anything else for that matter – so what? How have you been wronged? Your recourse is to scroll down, hide, delete, or unfollow. It’s not as if they mailed a cobra to your house, they just posted something to a public social network that you don’t prefer. Get a grip. Make the punishment fit the crime. And most importantly, as I learned in kindergarten: Worry about yourself. 

 

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  • http://twitter.com/rlunka Ryan D. Lunka

    I tend to agree with you here about what’s wrong with social media. Social networking anonymizes people to where they feel comfortable being flat-out rude…sometimes even threatening. These digital channels are still brand new in terms of humanity and so far they seem to be reinforcing the good and the bad about people. Read the comments on any remotely controversial news article to understand what I mean.

    Great article, by the way.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      You are certainly right about that Ryan. Thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/shellynn20 Michelle Van Engen

    It’s pretty simple – if you don’t have something nice to say, why say anything at all?

    I love that you give a shout-out to email. Also, it’s interesting to me that even though you’re talking about LinkedIn profiles, when you link someone’s name, you’re linking to their Twitter account, not LinkedIn profile. Which is of course what you’d expect, but unfortunate for LinkedIn.

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      Really good point about Linkedin. I’ll see if we can get that added to the Author Box, and I’ll ponder linking that way in posts.

  • http://twitter.com/sierratierra Lisa Kalner Williams

    You HAVE to do something to keep that cobra comment alive.

  • http://twitter.com/ncbeachgirl75 Laura Watts

    Jay, when I’m not on Twitter, or FB, or Linkedin, I’m teaching kindergarten. Well said! :)

  • Andy Foote

    Thanks for the shout out Jay!

  • http://www.socialbakers.com/ Michal Smetana

    @jasonbaer:disqus, this is an excellent article with some amazing insights. But what I loved the most is this: “Being in the top 1% of Linkedin profiles puts you in the top 2 MILLION members. Not a club that’s as exclusive as NFL quarterbacks, or Super Bowl half-time show performers, or even “people who can make a really, really good omelette.” This is something people should really think about when talking about their “exclusivity”.

  • Graciousstore

    I agree with you that people should “worry about themselves”. Who is the social media guru, that can say emphatically, that others are not doing things right? Let them raise their hands

  • Joe Holford

    “A Facebook status update isn’t a blog post with a comments section; it’s not an invitation for your bile and vitriole.”

    It may not be an invitation for retaliatory posts from jealous goons, but status updates most certainly are an invitation for commenting like on blogs. Not all controversy is always bad ;)

    • http://www.convinceandconvert.com/ jaybaer

      I know what you mean Joe. But people are way too eager to jump on other people in social. The rules are so different behind a keyboard, and that can be destructive.