How top influencers are gaming LinkedIn

Top LinkedIn influencers are gaming the system. But LinkedIn says it's found no irregularities.

How top influencers are gaming LinkedIn
Image Credit: DALL-E 3

Top LinkedIn influencers are gaming the system. But LinkedIn says it's found no irregularities.

I've written previously about cheaters and how LinkedIn metrics are broken:

But this article by Shari Berg in collaboration with D A N I E L H A L L offers the most eye-opening look at the problem I've seen yet.

What got my attention: The naming of a Big Four corporate influencer for using auto-pods to boost engagements.

Pod, what pod?

But first, what is a pod? It is essentially a group of LinkedIn users who've agreed to interact with each other's posts by liking or commenting on each other's content.

The way the LinkedIn algorithm works, posts that garner high engagements quickly get shared with a far broader audience.

It didn't take long for someone to create automated tools using browser extensions to control legitimate accounts to automatically like or comment on posts in return for the favour.

Hence the term auto-pods. The larger auto-pod providers can have over ten thousand subscribers.

Corporate influencer

But why would an influencer with over 200,000 followers need to resort to an auto-pod? It's part of the work KPI perhaps?

Anyway, here's what a group of ad-hoc investigators found out about this corporate influencer:

  • Part of LinkedIn's Top Voice programme.
  • Linear follower growth, 100's of engagements.
  • The employer, Deloitte, denied the allegations.

Online magazine t3n wrote an in-depth report, and noted how comments that were identified as evidence of pod engagements were swiftly deleted.

An investigative reporter reached out to LinkedIn and was told that its team didn't find any irregularities with the account.

It's the marketing agency. Maybe

I think some influencers or executives might actually be unaware of pod use.

They could have paid a marketing agency to write content on their behalf and left them to it.

And guess what, auto-pods are the fastest way to show "proof" of success...

👉 Would you ever use a pod? Do you think pod use is killing LinkedIn?

Read the article at The Write Reflection's blog here.