How not to engage Social Media

Linkedin was the original “business networking” site. It soon had a legion of fans. The names that come to mind are Scott Allen and Vincent Wright. Scott had the super useful Linkedintelligence blog and Vincent set up umpteen email groups to evangelise Linkedin. Linkedin’s then VP of Marketing, Konstantin Guericke was a constant presence on the group, and kept the group in the loop about what was brewing in the works for Linkedin. Konstantin then left to start up Jaxtr and Linkedin started its own blog and things slowly went downhill from there.

Check this message that Vincent posted today on the MyLinkingPowerForum and this bit on Scott’s blog:

LinkedIn has become simply impossible to deal with as someone trying to evangelize their platform. I could give my own personal dirty laundry list a mile long, but I won’t — what they do to other people is more than enough. When I see how LinkedIn continues to ignore and/or mistreat some of its strongest evangelists and power users and refuses to address issues that have been going on for years, I simply no longer want to have my personal brand tied to their brand (that’s OK – they probably feel the same way, strangely enough).

I think LinkedIn is a great tool, and I will continue to use it, advocate it to my business associates, and train clients on using it effectively, but I’m just not going to waste any more of my time promoting it when they are not just unsupportive, but downright hostile to those of us who try to do so.

And that’s a shame! There are tonnes of organizations who would give up an arm and a leg to get customer evangelists like Scott and Vincent, and Linkedin is saying by its actions that it does not need them!

Linkedin clearly does not “get social media”. Ironically, for an organization that wants to make people connect.

About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on May 27, 2008, in blogging. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Vipul Agarwal


    I read Vincent’s mail and it is really sad that he should be treated in this shabby way. Infact, it is sad that an organization who is into “Social Networking” should not get this basic principle. I am surprised that they would let their chief evangelist go away. From a marketing perspective this is a horror and I dont see them making any moves towards conciliation. Personally, I am on several of Vincent’s network and have learnt a lot about LinkedIn from him and the group. Infact, it was because of his group that I became active on LinkedIn.

    I agree – this is a lesson on how not to manage a startup.

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