Owen Chen / Writer / Bay Area / Mar 23, 2015

I'm LinkedIn Famous

A few weeks ago I shared a clever rebrand from one of my favorite products, Sonos, on LinkedIn. I left the photo with a simple comment:

"New Sonos logo is awesome (keep scrolling)"

In case you haven’t figured it out, besides symbolizing waves of sound going outwards, the logo starts animating on its own as soon as you start scrolling. The optical illusion created resembles sound waves being emitted from the logo itself.

When I first saw this, my brain immediately went through the usual process that it goes through when sharing content on the Internet:

(There is also Google Plus for things... Ok let's be honest, I don't share on g+)

Clearly, I thought this was something related to my field that would make me look interesting to my professional network. I never expected much from it though –I’m not an influencer on LinkedIn, and I only have a few hundred connections. Maybe I’ll get a few likes here and there, but hey, its nice to make people you work with think you are interesting every now and then.

My post was doing pretty well at first, getting a few likes here and there. Until this happened:

For those familiar with the LinkedIn platform, or for those who work at LinkedIn, this is a phenomenon known as the Jeff Effect, or “jeffect". Besides being our CEO, Jeff is also one of the most followed influencers on LinkedIn, along with people like Bill Gates and Richard Branson. This means any post or social action he takes is potentially seen by some 2 million people across the world’s biggest professional network.

100 likes, 200 likes….The post went viral! I checked my phone the next morning and boom! 2000 likes. I’m officially LinkedIn-Famous. And yes, I was pretty damn excited about it (My social life isn’t all the exciting. Don’t judge).

(Okay, i didn't actually get a screenshot when it hit 2000, nor is this from my phone... Deal with it.)

Now, besides all the side effects of being LinkedIn famous, like skyrocketing profile views, and hundreds of connection requests from people you may (not) know, I realized there was something more to my "road to fame".

(Hey look! it's the other logo Jeff mentioned in his comment, i see the arrow!)

Sonos’ rebrand effort was not only organically blasted to hundreds of thousands of people across the professional network, it was also just "socially endorsed" by one of Silicon Valley’s most successful CEOs. It instantly reminded me of the picture above.

Yes, product placements in movies, or sponsored content on social networks. Yet it was all done at zero cost for Sonos. And because it’s on LinkedIn, the world’s greatest professional network, the message itself from Jeff could not have been more genuine, and more relevant for its audience.

It also got me thinking of other possibilities. Imagine if Bill Gates started following the LinkedIn page of your company (that turns poop into water); or if Barbara Corcoran comments on your post about some awesome startup idea without even taking it to Shark Tank! The possibilities could truly be endless.

Lastly (and most importantly), it really had me thinking how big of a check Sonos owed me. Having used Facebook’s paid advertising features, and being part of the team who built sponsored updates on LinkedIn, I’m sure this would’ve cost Sonos a pretty penny. But hey, I guess that’s the advantage of viral marketing.

This article was first published on LinkedIn:

Owen Chen Writer Mar 23, 2015 Bay Area More By Owen
Born in Beijing, grew up in Vancouver. Ponders the survivability of the human race; dreams about the exploration of space. Currently working in the bay area, creating impact on people’s lives through design. His portfolio can be viewed on Ideas That Ship
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