I’m beginning to see a bit of this type of bad behaviour on LinkedIn ad spots. It’s an extension of what we’ve seen for a long time in LinkedIn groups; small, opportunistic businesses hijacking the communications attempts of larger organisations. This can only happen when the larger organisations aren’t paying sufficient attention.
This particular spam is particularly embarrassing: Salesforce sells its own Social Media Management platform and is a LinkedIn API Partner, yet signally fails to manage its own social media campaign (note how long that first hijacking comment has been left on the post.) Don’t be too smug, though: this isn’t a flaw in their platform — it’s a hole in their planning into which any of us could fall. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, this is more likely to be because you’re not paying enough attention to LinkedIn than it is because your campaign hygiene processes are up to date.
When planning LinkedIn campaigns, do make sure that you allocate resources to moderate LinkedIn promoted posts; we all do it in the line of business for Facebook, and even for Twitter. LinkedIn is a valuable platform, but too often treated as an after thought by social media planners; if we’re going to commit budget, we need to do it better than Salesforce.
Incidentally; Salesforce has to date (26 February 2014) generated 212 clicks from LinkedIn using this ad, first hijacker has delivered 50 clicks (data: bit.ly) – while we’re not going to judge a campaign solely on the traffic it delivers, it does give you an idea of the potential value of hijacking; it’s not a behaviour that’s going to go away on its own.