Bad influences

In the last year, LinkedIn has introduced a number of new content initiatives, including regular posts from business leaders it considers to be "key influencers". When they log on to the site, LinkedIn users who sign up for content categories are pushed links to posts by various influencers.

I've posted before that some observers see these content initiatives as LinkedIn's killer app, a way for the site to enter and potentially dominate a range of business-to-business categories. That may be true, but (as I've also posted), the content has to offer demonstrable value.

Right now, the posts seem more clutter than insight. One recent example stands out: Bernard Marr's "The 75 KPIs every manager needs to know".

Marr, who is promoting a similarly titled book, offers 75 "key performance indicators" across six broad categories:

  • Finances
  • Customers
  • Markets and marketing performance
  • Operations
  • Employees
  • Sustainability

Beyond being grouped in these categories, the 75 KPIs are listed but not explained. I guess you can buy the book for that.

Marr prefaces his list with "an important warning":

Don’t just pick all 75 – You don't need or indeed should have all 75 KPIs. Instead, by understanding these 75 KPIs you will be able to pick the vital few meaningful indicators that are relevant for your business.

That led me to ask, "If that's the case, why title this post The 75 KPIs every manager needs to know?"

The reason is Buzzfeed simple: Lists get page views. Posts that are titled "A flat list of lots of stuff you can consider before picking the three most important things you will measure" do not.

Maybe this approach represents what LinkedIn would call thought leadership. Every time I read one of these posts, though, I ask myself if I belong on LinkedIn. That can't be a good thing for LinkedIn.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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