LinkedIn spams Twitter by appealing to our big, fat egos

linkedin egoLinkedIn just pulled off an incredibly successful PR stunt by appealing to our sense of pride and accomplishment – even if it won’t admit it.

Many of us opened our email recently to a nice surprise: A congratulatory note from LinkedIn, announcing we’re in the top 10, 5, or 1 percent of the most-viewed profiles. And if you thought this made you special, you were wrong – LinkedIn sent these notes to millions and millions of active users.

If you momentarily felt proud, we’re about to ruin it with math (math ruins everything, doesn’t it). If you were in the top 10 percent, with 200 million people signed up for LinkedIn, many inactive or just signed up on a whim, you only had to crack the top 20 million active users to get the “honor.” LinkedIn’s campaign to give its users a pat on the back started on February 7 and ended on February 14, stroking a lot of egos along the way.

LinkedIn gave its favored users an opportunity to share their note on Twitter, Facebook, or back on the LinkedIn site, and people jumped on the opportunity to showcase their networking abilities. Seriously, if you Google “LinkedIn top five percent” or any of the other number combinations, you’ll see many a bragging blog post.

The oversharing of the faux accomplishment, however, took away any hint of prestige. TechCrunch consulted social analytics group Topsy and learned this note sent mentions of LinkedIn on Twitter skyrocketing. As Tech Crunch explains, people mentioned LinkedIn on Twitter well over 80,000 times. The peak times corresponded with some of the days LinkedIn sent the letters out.

Twitter pulled LinkedIn’s integration last summer, but clearly the professional networking site still values Twitter. This latest stunt makes it pretty clear someone in the LinkedIn marketing department is seriously social media savvy – LinkedIn gave its users validation and an clear impetus to promote the website on popular social media platforms.