The Scam Catching LinkedIn Users Off Guard — The Fast Path to 1 Million Followers Which Exploits Jobseekers

Tim Denning

Offer the false promise of a job. (Here’s how to avoid the scam.)

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Photo via unsplash

If you know me by now, you know I don’t care about followers.

But plenty of people do care about followers.

I want to get straight to the point. There is an easy way for people who hope to dominate LinkedIn to exploit the platform’s users. The current global backdrop is a recession, created by a pandemic, with the unemployment rate in many countries at record highs.

LinkedIn is a place you go to find a job. It’s also a place you go to position yourself for your next job.

This means if you’ve lost your job, then LinkedIn is a place you will hang out. Job seekers are vulnerable and the platform is loaded with them. An evil genius (who will go unnamed) figured out how to take job seekers and weaponize them to build their following.

It’s like a virus on LinkedIn. Everybody’s doing it.

I reported it to LinkedIn but it doesn’t appear to violate their rules. I hope this post will change that, so job seekers are no longer exploited because of their work status. It’s unfair and indecent in every sense of the word.

Here’s How the LinkedIn Scam Works

When a person is desperate to find a job they’re willing to try anything. How do I know? I was that guy last year. I thought it would be easy to find my next job. I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming rejection and ghosting I faced.

After a while, your brain becomes a mashed potato. You start seeing jobs where jobs don’t exist.

LinkedIn wannabe influencers take advantage of these insecurities.

In order to build a big following on LinkedIn you need three things:
1) Likes 2) Comments 3) Followers.

It doesn’t matter where these metrics come from. All that matters is you get as much engagement as possible. Social media engagement has become a form of slave labor.

Wannabe influencers get you to like or comment on their post by promising the following:

  • You’ll get a job by leaving a “like.” (Or even a promotion.)
  • You’ll meet a recruiter if you leave a comment.
  • You’ll find more customers for your pandemic-stricken business by sharing an unrelated social media post you didn’t create.

If people think they can get something for free by engaging with your content then they’ll do anything to participate. It takes half a second to like a post. It takes 30 seconds to leave a comment.

It’s like the LinkedIn lottery.

You might get a six-figure job or you might get absolutely nothing. But the price to enter the competition is so small it feels silly not to do it. So, millions of people every month on LinkedIn engage with these scam posts.

1st sign of a scam

The original poster never engages with a single comment.

If the wannabe influencer really wanted to help you find a job they would at least engage with a few comments. They never do because they don’t need to. Their goal is followers and influence — not genuine help.

2nd sign of a scam

The number of comments in proportion to the number of likes is almost equal. These posts attract tonnes of comments, which is extremely powerful for the LinkedIn algorithm.

3rd sign of a scam

What you’re offered isn’t tangible. To say you will get a job by leaving a comment is an invisible promise. They don’t tell you how. There is no strategy. They don’t explain what success looks like or what the steps are.

4th sign of a scam

They never give examples of success stories.

You never see these wannabe influencers giving examples of real humans who won the LinkedIn lottery and got a job by liking their post. That’s because the winners don’t exist. We know deep down that finding a job goes well beyond the comments section of a LinkedIn post.

Genuine connection leads to job opportunities, not a like or comment.

Here Are a Few Examples, so You Can Help Protect Jobseekers

The wannabe influencers who implement this LinkedIn hack aren’t bad people. They’re just trying to put food on the table like you and I are.

I know you love examples. I’m going to offer plenty, but I will leave out the names because this isn’t about shaming people.

(The first example below is the worst.)

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https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=34fkYp_0YD1e3oe00Screenshots were taken by the author from LinkedIn.

The engagement on these posts is enormous, which is why they have taken over LinkedIn. I saw one post by a young lady that had 93,250 likes and 46,600 comments. This type of engagement on posts will quickly see you get to one million followers. It’s being taught in LinkedIn courses and promoted as an effective way to grow your network.

But taking advantage of people is never a good marketing strategy long-term.

Eventually, someone will put an end to the LinkedIn Ponzi Scheme. Until then, you have the option to ignore these posts and spread the word about this unethical tactic if you choose.

LinkedIn Gone Mad

I wish the scam ended here. It doesn’t.

There are folks posing as unemployed, and begging for likes and comments to help them find a job. The truth is they’re not unemployed at all and are just trying to build a LinkedIn following. I can’t believe it has gotten to this. Here’s an example:

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=3mBEse_0YD1e3oe00Screenshot was taken by the author from LinkedIn

There almost needs to be a “no begging for attention rule” to stop this behavior.

Followers will not make you happy.
Followers will not make you a millionaire.

A follower is a person you meet once — and perhaps, never again — who you can’t contact via email.

You can have 100,000 followers and still have your story read by less than 100 people. I wish content creators all understood this truth.

Your Personal Social Media Responsibility

While doing research for this story I came across an interesting insight: if you do the wrong thing then your audience will imitate you. I have seen this as a writer who posts across many social media platforms.

If you have an audience on social media it is your obligation to lead by example. People will mimic what you do. If you demonstrate bad behavior then you’ll create more of it. It took me six years of writing online to understand this.

Demonstrate the behavior you’d be proud to have replicated by your audience, and that will leave positive ripple effects in the world.

Final Thought

Anyone asking you to follow them has been taken over by their ego. You can’t force people to follow you.

You can be helpful — and people may voluntarily follow you.

I now partially understand why Sean Kernan said LinkedIn is a cringefest. I still love the platform, but these LinkedIn scams can sometimes make the experience feel exhausting.

There is one solution to this problem: social media platforms can take away engagement metrics and follower counts.

Job seekers need real help, not wannabe influencer help.

A job seeker isn’t a human slave designed to be exploited by wannabe LinkedIn influencers. A job seeker is somebody just like you who is trying to get back on their feet and provide for their family.

Ego metrics take you away from reality. Empathy and honesty bring you closer to reality.

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Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship www.timdenning.com

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