It’s probably safe to say we can all remember a time in our lives where someone in authority, such as a parent or a boss, has stood there in front of us waving that fore finger, scolding us for something we did wrong, despite us being adamant we were correct. God knows I can hold my hand up and admit I have waved the aforementioned finger one or two times in my personal and professional life and only heard white noise as I was doing so. Granted a toddler doesn’t have much of a chance but you get picture!.
So is it unfair, inaccurate, or simply wrong for us to say that a recent experience here on this professional platform felt like we had the giant social media finger wagging in our direction?. It’s no secret that LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter et al are all blood thirsty when it comes to advertising revenue from companies and businesses on their platforms. Whilst this is totally acceptable, and is of course their business model, it should at all times, be a consumer choice no matter how good your engagement and content is and the ‘Free’ (I use this word lightly!) marketing it brings.
You see a number of weeks ago we posted a piece of content on LinkedIn that went viral. It was a shock to us that it did but the photo really grabbed peoples attention and the ‘likes’ for it are still dribbling in today. What it did for our brand was huge. Not only was a very tangible metric to the hard work, time and effort we put into our digital marketing, it significantly increased our followers, and not just any type of followers, followers that matter in our virtual digital world of marketing. It did so as it was relevant content to our business & industry and the clients we court.
Not long after the photo went viral we suddenly noticed a massive decrease in engagement on our posts and content. Naturally our antennas immediately pricked up. Surely not?? Surely we weren’t being punished for striking a cord with our followers, and their followers and their followers……. LinkedIn surely wouldn’t have ‘red flagged’ us (so to speak) as a potential juicy advertising target due to the success of a single piece of content???
Just to make sure this wasn’t the case we opened a support ticket with LinkedIn inquiring if there was a recent change to algorithms which could have caused this massive and instant drop in engagement and interaction on our company page. In fairness to LinkedIn they did reply albeit to ask us to be more specific!!!!! However less than a day after opening the ticket everything returned to normal and the usual levels of engagement and interaction returned…..hmmmmmm I hear you say!
Now I may be accused of being cynical here and what happened was just a coincidence. I guess we will never know for sure but it has made me stop and think about the commercial values of social media platforms. Hypothetically speaking if businesses are being punished by cleverer than clever algorithms who ‘downgrade’ us for doing well, it begs the question, why are we doing it at all? And some might point out that this is in fact the case on many platforms except of course Twitter which cannot figure out at all how to monitise their billions of users….