Linkedin has become an online psychotherapy

Dalibor Šumiga Behavioral marketing/Neuromarketing

LinkedIn, social media posts, reach, public relations, consumer psychology, digital marketing

Several followers have complained to me that they don’t see my posts on Linkedin at all, and I post almost every day, including weekends.

The problem lies in the fact that self-help or life/work struggle posts perform best on LinkedIn and they outnumber in reactions and reach.
I, on the other hand, write about consumer psychology. That’s not a topic in which someone can often recognize themselves.

Additionally, Linkedin’s popularity has grown in the business community. And as with almost every growing network so far, tips have emerged on how to hack Linkedin’s algorithm.
From advice to write every day, to be sure to comment on the most famous influencer’s posts, to be “yourself” (whatever that means), to give added value to your audience…

There are 3 types of perception:

01) selective attention – we focus only on certain details
02) selective distortion – two people look at the same thing differently
03) selective retention – we retain only the information that is important to us

LinkedIn, social media posts, reach, public relations, consumer psychology, digital marketing

Everyone who’s read these tips has understood them in their own way and that’s why we now have an increase in posts in which Linkedin users complain that the network has become “fake”. We forget that, as with any other social network, our reactions to posts define what will be shown, we create our own newsfeed.


Curious to test my theory of what really works on LinkedIn, I did a little experiment….
Before I go into details, it’s important to know the background, and to know the background, it’s very important that you read the following quote:

The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of some good cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with good conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats.
Aldous Huxley

LinkedIn, social media posts, reach, public relations, consumer psychology, digital marketing

So there is no greater moral treat than when someone tells you that you can insult a person because you are doing it for a good cause.

This quote was the inspiration for my theory – on LinkedIn, posts that antagonize a real or imaginary enemy work best.
A similar trick was applied by Steve Jobs in his presentations – “hero” (iPhone) and “villain” (old slow phone with keys).

I decided to do an experiment – when I get the chance, to write a post antagonizing someone or something and then to follow reactions. I wrote two, both of which had a huge reach and a large number of reactions.
But they also had their side effects…. Antagonizing means that you’ll also have people who disagree with your opinion, and they usually have the fastest reaction, which you can also see in the comments of any daily political or social topic. Eg. see any status about vaccination and the pandemic in general.

There’s a saying: “We can disagree and still be friends”, but that theory doesn’t hold on social media….
Anyone with internet access and enough intelligence to open a profile can say whatever they want; this is also the reason why I’ve been arguing for years that democracy is the greatest evil of modern society because the voice of a fool is worth as much as the voice of a smart person.

LinkedIn, social media posts, reach, public relations, consumer psychology, digital marketing

If you have a large follower base, any troll can literally build their reputation off of your base by the very fact that you have left room for them to comment on each of your posts.

These are all important facts that describe my experiment.
If you follow my LinkedIn profile, you’ve probably noticed one of the posts – the one about Ronaldo and Coca Cola. :-)
To explain right away, I didn’t write anything I really didn’t mean, I just used antagonizing rhetoric and an aggressive approach.
Yes, I think it’s hypocritical to attack Coca Cola, not only because you used to advertise it but because right behind you are the logos of institutions that knowingly participated in criminal activities, and you chose not to name them.
No, I don’t think a man can’t change his mind. In fact, if you don’t change your mind when new evidence emerges, then there’s something wrong with you.

But let’s get back to the experiment. The reactions to that announcement have been amazing. And then I decided to turn off the comments…. :-)

My theory was that both positive and negative, and especially negative reactions would spill over into my inbox. That I would receive both praise and death threats, but to my great surprise, that didn’t happen.
I only got one comment in my inbox and it was really hilarious:

LinkedIn, social media posts, reach, public relations, consumer psychology, digital marketing

So, there’s a solution to get rid of trolls – turn off your comments…
When they have no audience, they become disinterested and harmless…

For all of you who can’t, but want to see all or most of my posts on Linkedin, I’m soon launching an “Out of Mind” newsletter that will include all of my weekly posts (or at least most of them).

In the meantime, if you want to continue to enjoy Linkedin and read only what interests you, use “Unfollow” and “Mute”.