LinkedIn: The Social Network Where Fun Goes to Die

20 Feb
No Fun Sign

Photo credit to sara_anne.

The other day I was working with some colleagues on a plan for digital communications surrounding the upcoming Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) conferenceLike most things that include the word accounting, buzz about the conference isn’t exactly sticky; it doesn’t rocket around cyberspace like news of Joe Biden’s latest gaff or pictures of Kate’s baby bump.

In order to build excitement for the conference, we’re going to be having social media contests in the lead up to the event.  The topic of discussion: what network to use for the contests: Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Like Button Sign

Photo credit to afagen.

We initially considered a Facebook campaign.  Facebook makes it easy to host contests and track engagement.  Also, we’re all used to seeing contests, and pass-it-on pseudo chain letters, on the site.  Even if we don’t necessarily believe that “every share means $1 for kids’ cancer research” or “if you don’t click ‘like’ it means you hate puppies,” we all understand the mechanisms of how content spreads on Facebook and the social norms around engaging with it.  Initially, Facebook seemed like the perfect network for a contest – until someone spoke up.  “Um, guys, I want to help, but I’m not going to share AAM stuff on my Facebook page.  My friends make fun of me for working in accounting enough as it is.”  And with that, the happiness balloon popped.  It was disappointing, but it was honest – and it was right.  Trying to get accounting to be a hot topic on Facebook is like trying to get fetch to happen.  Get over it Gretchen.

Bird Houses by See-ming LeeNext up for discussion, Twitter.  Fast, easy – almost too easy.  “Retweet to win” is so simple it’s almost meaningless.  Like everything on Twitter, it’s fleeting to a point of near irrelevancy.  We knew that we could get people to retweet or reply easily enough, but didn’t know if we could get that to translate into anything more lasting.  Final verdict: let’s give it a try, but we need something else, too.

Waiting waiting waiting by shaggy359.Finally, LinkedIn.  Of all the options, LinkedIn is the most utilized by AAM members.  We have a super active group, the discussion forum on which has practically supplanted our list-serve.  Members use the group to share their wins, commiserate about their struggles, and ask for advice.  The first rule of marketing: find your audience.  We found them; and they were on LinkedIn.  So, it made sense for our contest to be there, too.  Then someone asked the question, “Has anyone ever seen a contest on LinkedIn?”  And… crickets.  “Has anyone ever seen anything fun on LinkedIn?”  More crickets.  Apparently, LinkedIn is the social network where fun goes to die.  Yes, LinkedIn is a professional network, so it’s only natural that it’s a bit more buttoned up than its social brethren.  But, there’s a difference between “buttoned up” and “stick up your butt.”

After the meeting ended, I googled LinkedIn contests.  No results.  (That’s a lie, there were hundreds of thousands of results, but none of them were about LinkedIn contests.  Curse you, Google algorithm.)  But, hopefully soon there will be.  I’m determined to make fetch happen.  And I’m going to make it happen on LinkedIn.

Questions of the day: Have you ever seen a LinkedIn contest?  Would you participate in one?  Do you actually believe that clicking ‘like’ donates $1 to kids’ cancer research?  Are you trying to make fetch happen?

Maggie (Not Margaret) is a blog about social media, marketing, culture, and what’s new on the internet written by me, Maggie O’Toole.   Find anything interesting in the worlds of culture or social media that you’d like to see a post on? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail at

2 Responses to “LinkedIn: The Social Network Where Fun Goes to Die”

  1. Jon Plsek February 21, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    Nope. Nope. Nope. Aaaannnnd nope. For me, LinkedIn is like nails on a chalkboard, but then again, I’m young and work in a creative field. Artists are there because someone somewhere told them they had to be. Good luck getting fun to happen there–once you do (please do!) be sure and let the rest of us know!

    • Maggie O'Toole February 24, 2013 at 8:51 am #

      What do you mean you’re not trying to make fetch happen? Also, it’s not just artists — I think half the people on LinkedIn are only there because someone else told them that they had to be!

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