From The New Yorker’s really long, in-depth profile of billionaire LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman:
LinkedIn would also purvey business advice. Three years ago, it assembled a group of eight hundred “influencers”—Hoffman, Bill Gates, Deepak Chopra, Arianna Huffington—who began regularly posting on the LinkedIn site. (Counting the work of less rarefied figures, LinkedIn posts at least five hundred thousand new pieces of writing a month.)
You want to do a little math here?
Given month = 30 days.
500,000 original posts / 30 = 16,666 new pieces of writing per day
16,666 / 24 hours in a day = 694 new pieces of writing per hour
694 / 60 minutes in an hour = 11.57 new pieces of writing per minute
Think about that. There’s essentially 12 new pieces of content on LinkedIn every minute.
Now go back to the top of the pull quote. There’s 800 influencers. So most of the stuff you’re actually going to get fed in Pulse is by guys like Gates, Deepak Chopra, and then people like Jeff Haden, Travis Bradberry, Bernard Maar, etc.
Phrased another way: if you post on there (which, admittedly, I do almost every day), your stuff is probably going to get buried. Again, this happens to me almost every day. I’ve had one or two posts that had a huge view count, but mostly it’s under 100 per post. Sad, but I do like sharing thoughts — I’m egotistical, I guess — so I keep doing it.
This kind of broadly rolls up with two things:
- People often don’t seem to understand what LinkedIn publishing is even for
- People often ignore the supply-demand problem in content marketing
Here’s what I mean:
1. A lot of people misunderstand the idea of what “content marketing” can do — probably because they followed the advice of some cookie-cutter expert — and they get big, wide eyes at the potential audience size (“If I post to Facebook, I’ll reach a billion people!” Um, no you won’t.) So they go onto LinkedIn and they think, “Man, I’m gonna reach 330 million people? I should up-sell the hell out of my product!” That’s not even what people relate to — they want to know how a product will make them have a better life, not how great the product itself is — but everyone’s still throwing up-sells all over the place anyway. I saw some post on LinkedIn the other day that was literally a full post (“content marketing”) advertising how some lady was speaking in Detroit. That’s probably not necessary as a “Pulse/Influencer” post.
2. Eventually content marketing will die as a concept because people won’t see the bottom-line ROI on it and eventually all these calls to produce “more content!” will just lead to crappier content, and that will flush some of the good content in a given industry/vertical onto Page 2 of Google, where you could hide a dead body and no one would find it. Then another marketing fad will have to crop up, like “local social!” or “targeted SMS messaging!” Things move in waves.