So over the last couple of weeks, a new social media buzz has arisen, this time surrounding LinkedIn. About time, I’d say.

Unfortunately, while at first glance it seems to be for the right reasons, the buzz is starting to go negative.

A few friends and acquaintances started posting an image from LinkedIn on their Facebook and Twitter feeds, which congratulated them on being either in the Top 1% or Top 5% most viewed profiles on LinkedIn for 2012.

Sounds amazing, right? Many seem to think so. So did I, when I received this:

LinkedIn Most Viewed

I was excited too, until I noticed something else: ‘LinkedIn now has 200 million members’.

Umm, so let’s do the math: If I’m in the top 1%, that means I’m one of 2 million other ‘most viewed’ profiles. In fact, many others were in the top 5%, making them one of 10 million viewed profiles.

Ouch.

Not feeling so special now, are we?

This seems to be a marketing tactic by LinkedIn to get more of the general professional population active – whether they’re on the platform already and are inactive, or whether they’ve never had a profile before and should get one. Given the proliferation of this ‘Most Viewed’ congratulatory message and image on social networks, they’ve succeeded in getting public attention not seen for LinkedIn in years, however is it really a good indication of ethical marketing?

Grey area. But let me use another example to highlight how desperate LinkedIn seems to make itself look: I received an email early last year from them to upgrade my account with them to a paid one. They listed all sorts of benefits, and their Calls to Action were full of urgency and benefits. It was ‘expiring soon’, I needed to act soon as the offer ‘Expires in 3 days’! This and many other clever copy tactics were used.

Until I started received the ‘soon to expire’ offer every month.

For almost a year!

LinkedIn claims it is a network for professionals and the business community. Well maybe it needs to tell its marketing team to adhere to basic business courtesy and not go down the path of ‘SALE SALE SALE BUY NOW!’ used by supermarkets.