Anne 馃悵 Thornley-Brown, MBA

4 years ago 路 4 min. reading time 路 visibility 0 路

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LinkedIn: To Tag or not to Tag and the Going Viral Controversy

"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"聽

What a week this has been on LinkedIn. HEATED!! At times VICIOUS!!Let me bring you up to date.聽

Reminder: I am posting this here because, if I post it in LinkedIn Publisher, I will be lucky if 20 people even see it.聽

LinkedIn: To Tag or not to Tag and the Going Viral Controversy

There have been posts by 2 individuals chastising members for being too focused on "going viral".聽

One was a LinkedIn Publisher post by聽Andy Foster objecting to the fact that members are tagging their Publisher posts and LinkedIn status updates, in his view, to "go viral".

Andy's tagline is:

If you are not seen, you do not exist

People are tagging to make sure their content, which would otherwise be invisible, is seen.

The other was a status update by聽 Brian Wallace, Infographic Expert. His concern was that some LinkedIn members are putting too much emphasis on going viral. I pointed out that the concern stems from the fact that is is difficlut for content to be seen and B2B marketers are finding that they are not getting the desired results from social media.

Brian was very distressed that I dared state that in 7 years of putting out an urgent call for B2B success stories I have not uncovered even one.聽

The discussion continued.聽

I pointed out the reasons why people are tagging to extend the reach of their content. (More about that in a moment.) He then complained that people were checking their LinkedIn app every two seconds to check their view stats. (I am not sure how he knows this or why it bothers him.) When I mentioned that I don't even have the app. he attacked me and accused me of not being serious about LinkedIn. I told him that I did not need the app. as I am not a "follow fashion monkey" (Jamaican expression) and I don't just jump on the bandwagon because everybody else is doing something.聽

He then insisted that social media was working and that through his discussion I was engaging with senior executives. I asked him to point out just one who had participate and back up his claims with proof.聽 That's when he blocked me.聽

People just don't appreciate it when you point out that the Emperor is naked. I already spoke about this tendency to silence those who threaten the palace in my beBee聽post:

So now that you have an idea of just how heated this topic has become, let's dig deeper.

Are People Tagging for the Sake of Tagging and Going Viral for the Sake of Going Viral?

Here is my take on this whole issue of tagging and what is perceived as an obsession with going viral. (It isn't.)

I will be the first to admit that tagging is annoying. I don't mind being tagged but going through all the work of tagging is a tedious exercise and it should not be necessary.

None of this is about tagging for the sake of tagging or going viral for the sake of going viral. It is about legitimate business owners with quality content to distribute ensuring that people at least have a chance to see it.

Tagging should not be necessary but LinkedIn has left members no choice.聽

Their artificial algorithms that suppress reach have created this situation. LinkedIn has also removed important tools, particularly in groups.


In groups (and I managed 24 of them up until recently) tagging is essential:聽

鉁旓笍 LinkedIn removed notifications of new content and new comments in discussions in which member shave participated.

聽鉁旓笍 If you don't tag, nobody sees new content unless they come into the group.

鉁旓笍 Not even announcements work in many groups. I now have 6 groups. Announcements work in none of them.聽

So the option is聽tag聽or just close the group.聽


Organic reach of blog posts is pathetic. I have never used tagging for Publisher posts.聽

I have watched my views plummet from 5,835 to 86 and that post was about virtual reality, a hot trend.聽So, I gave up.

Despite the fact that I have 5,594 Followers, no one was seeing my content. It was a pointless exercise so I no longer publish on Publisher.聽


I started tagging recently. Why? No one was seeing my updates. PERIOD!聽

Hey, perhaps my content sucks and that is why no one was seeing it. That could be a possibility and I would accept that except for one important fact.聽

When people actually see my content, they engage, like, comment, and even distribute it.

Compare, just in the last month:

鉁旓笍 posts with no tags - 14 - 443 views

鉁旓笍 posts with tags 949 - 42,728 views (the lower end was when one person was tagged)聽

The hilarious part about all of this is that the only reason I saw聽 Andy Foster's post is that someone tagged me and made me aware of it. I had never even heard of Danny before that.聽

It was the second time this week聽Dave Etter聽has had me in STITCHES!!聽

Yes,聽I tagged him in my comments on Danny's post. It's the only way he would SEE them.聽

So my choice is to just pack up, close my account, and go home or tag. I am not the only member聽facing this dilemma.

Again, LinkedIn has created this situation. It is not the only site that has suppressed organic distribution. Facebook and Twitter are just as bad.

If you Don't want me to Tag you

If I tag you and you don't want me to tag you, I have absolutely no problem with that.聽

Just pop me a quick private message here or on LinkedIn. I'll remove you from my network.聽

Why? I wish you well but LinkedIn has made it impossible for us to engage otherwise. You likely won't see anything I post. LinkedIn has also removed the ability to send messages to multiple recipients without the whole list being visible to all recipients. I am not going to send individual emails to聽 4632 connections.

聽If we can't engage there is absolutely no value in us being connected.

With 4632 connections and 5,594 followers, I shouldn't have to jump through hoops to ensure that people who have expressed an interest in engaging with me and seeing my content聽actually see it!聽

What a concept that would be....

For Discussion

  • Do you tag people on LinkedIn?聽
  • Why do you tag people and what has the result been?
  • How do you feel when people tag you?

It's Saturday.聽 I will post a status update about this at 6:30 PMand come back in 48 hours (on Monday) and report how many people have seen this.聽

Then, I will add tags on Monday at 6:30 and come back on Wednesday and provide an update.


By the way, the fallout from all of the drama this week is that I finally did collect some B2B social media marketing success stories. It only took me 7 years to uncover it. Well, I guess no one can say I am not persistent.

I published part one with my findings on HuffPost. Here are more details about it.


Be careful with tagging.聽聽聽If the people you tag don't respond within an hour, remove the tag. LinkedIn takes it as an indicator of low quality. Not even the people you tag are interested. Also when you do a new post, tag in a comment and remove the tag before an hour is up.

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What was psychotic, checking their new stats every 2 seconds or freaking out because people are checking their stats.

Nick Mlatchkov

4 years ago #13

'I've been offline for a couple of weeks and I have 95 new notifications' If u mean on beBee, 88 of them, got to be in Spanish ...

Nick Mlatchkov

4 years ago #12

'He then complained that people were checking their LinkedIn app every two seconds to check their view stats.' This seems to me like a psychotic reaction ...!
Aleta Curry I am doing an experiment. I will ad the links as soon as it is over. LinkedIn distributes posts based on how many people comment on and like them in the first hour. Also, because organic reach is limited, if you want certain people to see your content, if you don't tag them, chances are they won't see it. The goal is not to go viral for viral's sake. It's to ensure that your posts are seen by your connections and followers. If you don't tag, chances are they won't see them.
I do a drive-thru on LinkedIn to stay in touch with and promote my followers. I haven't originated a post on LI for quite some time and have no intentions of doing so. I find beBee and WordPress more rewarding.

Lisa Gallagher

4 years ago #9

I don't use LI half as often as I used to due to the fact that organic reach is next to impossible on LI now. However, to your point Anne \ud83d\udc1d Thornley-Brown, MBA, many of us tag on LI when cross posting and yes, I find the articles that are tagged reach a MUCH larger audience than those articles which have no tags. I agree, just send the person a message stating, I don't care to be tagged. I wrote something on beBee quite a while ago about mass tagging, I don't care to be tagged by the same few people over and over when they are self-promoting their writing. I guess there is a fine line but when it comes to B2B, content writing, etc... or even an important update, tag away!
I want also to add that number of views could well be related to the position of the writer. If LI manager publishes even an ordinary quality post he shall get more views than a distinctive post by you. I stopped completely worrying or paying attention to numbrer of views. I publish on Fridays and Saturdays and these two days hardly get traffic. My concern is to expose the post to the world when ready.
Anne \ud83d\udc1d Thornley-Brown, MBA- I understand you. I must say that in rare cases I tag people. I. Publish on beBee and share later on LI. Except recently every post I published on beBee got more view and comments by a factor od 3 to 4. Onle recent buzz on LI got more than 5300 views on LI nad 2400 on beBee. However; still comments on be Bee exceeded by 3 times those on LI. I am saying this and I find beBee far more rewarding.
That's how I feel Proma, I cannot understand why people are getting upset by others using the tools available to them to engage with others.

Proma 馃悵 Nautiyal

4 years ago #5

Great post, Anne \ud83d\udc1d Thornley-Brown, MBA! I totally agree with you. I tag when I want the concerned person's attention to the post. If it's an author whom I have to tagged, it allows other members (in my network and in their's) to know about the person tagged. Finally, when someone tags me, I feel happy that they took the time to type in my name to make sure I see the particular post.

Jan 馃悵 Barbosa

4 years ago #4

Very interesting and thought provoking 馃
Thanks Lupita.

Lupita 馃悵 Reyes

4 years ago #2

Worth sharing :D !!!

Lupita 馃悵 Reyes

4 years ago #1

Excellent post Anne \ud83d\udc1d Thornley-Brown, MBA!!

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