Hello there! Here's the story behind an experiment I ran on Linkedin a few days ago.
It was around the summer of 2020 when I decided to download Linkedin. From what I had seen and heard, Linkedin was going to be a place where I could build a professional network. And since then, I started sharing updates about the projects that I worked on and began building my network. Things were going well but something seemed strange.
A Linkedin User
I had expected Linkedin posts to be solely professional but that was not necessarily the case. From only a statistical standpoint (and from what I have observed), posts that shared a story or ones that shared a journey were much more appreciated than posts that simple talked about a job change or accomplishment. This got me thinking - why do people really use Linkedin.
The common underlying thread behind some of the best performing posts on Linkedin share 1 of 3 qualities - they motivate, they inspire or they provide insight. People go to Linkedin not just to build a professional network. They go to Linkedin to get inspired, to be motivated to be a better version of themselves and to ponder about interesting thoughts that they come across on the platform. This is quite different from what I had initially imagined Linkedin to be and I thought that maybe I could hack my way into Linkedin's USP.
One of the easiest ways of motivating someone is probably through a well thought out quote. So I thought: Ok I'll share some motivational quotes and observe what the response is like.
It would be quite tedious for me to share a motivational quote every few minutes and so I wanted a bot to automate the job. Using Linkedin's API and this brilliant website (https://www.insightoftheday.com/) I wrote a python program that shares a new motivational post every 10 minutes. I left the bot running for a little more than a day (167 posts💀)
I was hoping to wake up to hundreds of likes on my Linkedin page hahha. Nope. That didn't happen. Instead I got a call from a senior who explained why this was clearly a bad idea to start with :_)
Obviously I stopped the bot but I think I understand where my hypothesis failed. People don't just like motivational and inspirational content. They like genuine stories. And genuine stories, well, they inspire people. I had got the feedback loop entirely wrong.
My attempt to hack Linkedin's USP is probably just childish - genuine content wins, always. Not gimmicks :_)
Here's to writing genuinely.