When you were growing up, you may have received stars on a chart for good behavior (when you got to a certain number, you received a prize). On the other hand, you may have received warnings or marks on another chart or board when you didn’t behave or when your actions were not in line with what was expected of you. As a kid, things were a bit simpler and to the point and there was a clear voice of authority. Those were the days, right? The top contributor on LinkedIn is quite similar, in it's own way...
As times have changed, we’re finding that authority now rests in the hands of those who create it, especially when it comes to the social media world. What’s considered to be acceptable both in the real world and in the “online world” has also greatly changed. However, one thing remains the same, those who have good listening skills and “play well with others” are more likely to be rewarded with “stars” rather than those who see their cause or situation as more important than others.
Gold Stars and Sad Face Stickers
Recently LinkedIn put a new reward and system of “punishment” in place when it comes to participation in their groups. We first read about being SWAMed (“Site Wide Automatic Moderation”) from a post from our friends at Oktopost. Basically, the SWAM policy temporarily moderates any and all posts from any user suspected of spamming a LinkedIn group by either posting too much content, content that is not relevant, or that is overly promotional.
On the other side of that coin, LinkedIn has also created a “star chart” of sorts for those participants in groups who engage others with relevant, interesting and entertaining content. These individuals “listen” to others’ conversations before commenting and only give advice when and where they can really help. Not surprisingly, LinkedIn has given these individuals the title of “Top Contributor”. They are rewarded for their efforts as they contribute in a way that is meaningful, timely, pertinent and informative.
So if a Top Contributor is a star on a chart, what are the benefits of this designation? Is there any prize given once you’ve earned this spot (your star on the chart)? After doing some research, the Penguin Strategies team found that the Top Contributor led to some major benefits. We created this easy to follow infographic to share what we’ve learned:
As you can see, Top Contributors’ photos are shown on the top right hand corner of every group and the words “Top Contributor” appear below their name whenever they post. This gives them greater visibility and recognition from the rest of the group as someone to watch. In addition to being “visually” recognized as Top Contributor on the group’s page, a more concrete benefit is that individuals with this designation are more likely to see an increase in overall engagement within a group.
In other words, Top Contributors generally see an increase in click through and conversion rates on their posts.
Using Oktopost’s reporting feature, we saw that for one of our clients in the telecommunications industry we received a 3,300% increase in clicks. Within a month we posted 5 times to the group where our client was listed as Top Contributor. In that time, we received 165 clicks and 11 conversions.
While social media is almost always changing, paying attention to others’ conversations and understanding how to best “behave” on specific platforms is crucial if you want to reach your target market. Just like when you were a kid- getting a star on your chart is significant then, but the benefits should also be more long lasting and meaningful.