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Are You Obsessed with Social Influence?

Have you watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix? If not, add it to your list and watch it when you have time to pay attention. Put down your phone, your laptop, and watch closely.

There is not a week that goes by that someone doesn’t ask how they can beat LinkedIn’s algorithm, post at the most optimum time, and blitz the network. I usually remind people that trying to beat LinkedIn’s algorithm is futile. Even the engineers and data scientists have lost control of the algorithm. Again, watch the movie to learn more. 

While LinkedIn is only mentioned once or twice, they too are after the same goal. Your attention and time. 

Every social platform and app is built to draw you in and keep you coming back for more. Some are more addictive than others. 

Over the years, I’ve told the reluctant CEO that they have to weigh the upside and downside of joining and maximizing LinkedIn. Typically, they see the value, however, they don’t make the time to leverage it the way they should. When they shift their mindset because of a change (lack of a sales pipeline, their peers are seeing success, they need to hire someone quickly) they usually wish they had paid attention earlier. However, they feel compelled to tell me that they want a lower-key approach. I get that.

I’ve often felt like the odd person out. The contrarian in a sea of social influencers. 

So many people, including some I consider worthy rivals, focus on the numbers. Big networks, lots of comments, over the top posts focused less on substance and more on sizzle. They share their story of success trying to attract others into believing they can have similar success. Often they can, mostly, not so much especially if they are new to LinkedIn and have a negligible network.

LinkedIn is business, not social. I stand by that and believe the likes and the clicks don’t always equal revenue, the best hires, and sustainable traction. 

The goal should be to leverage the platform not be consumed by it. 

How do you leverage LinkedIn without being consumed?

Build your brand/reputation

Be known.

Be an expert.

Know others.

Connect the dots.

Extend your relationships beyond the said platform.

Know when you’re being taken.

Manage the superfluous.

Differentiate between the machine and a real person.

Care enough to do it right.

Recognize shortcuts make work in the short term but have little to no lasting value

I will watch the Social Dilemma again because there was so much to process. I consider it a must-watch show especially if you have children. 

There are unintended consequences to everything. The halcyon days of society prevented far too many people to consider the downside. Who could have imagined so much downside? 

How do I see this reflected in LinkedIn?

Well, certainly the feed which is heavily based on the relevancy of one’s network. 

I see the feeds of an array of people from different backgrounds, skill sets, geographies, etc. The vastness of the feed is overwhelming. The people you may know or People also viewed is often startling. 

Mine is pretty boring. No surprise, eh?

Others, not so much. 

I’ve touched on this in other posts and dig into this in my upcoming book, It’s Business, Not Social™ (coming soon!)

There is no substitute for building your professional reputation and community. 

Business Insider Australia published 11 things you can do to stop being manipulated by your phone, according to the tech experts featured in Netflix’s ‘The Social Dilemma’. Is there something you might consider changing or trying?

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