By | Abhijit Bhaduri |Keynote speaker, Author and Columnist
LinkedIn has a problem. I need your help to #fixLinkedIn
When your follower count reduces, your ideas and views are reaching lesser people. It is like having lesser number of friends to speak with each passing day. For a writer it means that your ideas reach lesser people with each passing day. Is that happening to you?
LinkedIn voted me as a Must Follow Writer. I added 800,000 followers in three years and since June 2019, I have not added a SINGLE reader even though LinkedIn keeps sending me messages that people are following me. Why is my voice being stifled every day?
I found a flaw in LinkedIn
Maybe LinkedIn has a flaw. In some cases the count drops. But why can they not solve it when the issue is logged. Every single day, LinkedIn reduces the number of people who follow me. So my posts are reaching lesser people every day. The same thing could be happening to you and you may not even be aware.
I need your help to solve this. I love writing and sharing my posts with you. And it hurts to see that readership being reduced because of an “algorithmic error”. Follower count can certainly be a matter of vanity on some platforms where you post photos for friends, but on LinkedIn the content is purely professional. Your professional voice must reach as many people as it can. When the platform curtails your reach, it is unfair.
I have been tracking the number of followers from July 2016. It is a great way to get feedback to know which content the readers found helpful. My hypothesis was that using sketchnotes could be a way to help the readers who are time-starved to get the key takeaways of a book or an article. I give away my sketchnotes for free to anyone who wishes to use them. The readers loved it but then last year I discovered the problem.
The problem started in the summer of 2019. But first some context.
800,000 new followers in 3 years & THEN …
- On 8th July 2016 I had 40,000 followers.
- A year later I added another 4 lakh (400,000) followers and on 9th July 2017 I had 446,000 followers.
- Another 3 lakh (300,000) followers got added between July 2017 and 2018. On 13th July 2018, my account had 700,000 followers.
- I added more than 140,000 followers between July 2018 and June 2019. In the first week of June 2019, I had more than 840,000 followers
- And then the problem started.
The daily drop …
On 7th June 2019 my follower count was 840, 739. This is an important figure to remember.
On 18 Feb 2020 the follower count was 836,074. That is a drop of four and a half thousand followers despite periodic notifications from LinkedIn saying new followers have joined me. But my overall follower count keeps dropping. I just feel maybe LinkedIn is preventing my voice from reaching readers.
I have raised this issue with LinkedIn Customer Support multiple times since last June. The first time when I logged the complaint, the customer service executive called me and said that it was “an issue with the algorithm” that had affected a few accounts. My account was one of them. Then they offered me LinkedIn premium for a month as a goodwill gesture. (I took that paid subscription later).
LinkedIn said, any followers lost would not be added back unless the person adds it back directly. The problem remained unsolved a year later.
When I raised this with them on subsequent occasions, they told me that periodically some “fake accounts” are removed. The next time I was told that the issue could be that my content was not relevant or that I needed to post more frequently!! When I pointed out the possibility of the “algorithm error” they said there was no such issue.
Even readers have noticed this. Recently a reader noticed this issue and asked me why my follower count was stuck at 840,000 for a while. I did not respond to him. But here is what I am asking you.
The follower count increased EVERY DAY from 8th July 2016 for almost three years. Almost 800,000 new followers were added till June 7, 2019. If 800 followers are added every day for 1000 days, it is possible that since then not a single follower has been added for the last 256 days? I have lost more than 4500 followers and not a single one added since June 7, 2019. The bleeding has not stopped.
I need your help to make LinkedIn fix it
The drop continues even as I write to you. On 19 Feb 2020, the follower count was 836,024 . On 20th Feb 2020, the count is 835,990. Yet, I got a message from LinkedIn saying 85 people have followed (see visual)
Can you ask a friend to follow me and see if that changes the count? Note my follower count before and after the follow. If it does not change and keeps dropping, please let LinkedIn know by reposting this on LinkedIn with your followers and add the hashtag #FixLinkedIn.
I have tried and failed. It is easy to ignore one consumer. But it hard to ignore when there are more voices. I will post the count for the next few days to share the information with you. If you know of people who have unfollowed me because they do not find my posts useful, do let me know that too so I can improve.
Finally, I recommend you track your own follower count because it matters if your voice is being stifled. It is worse when you realize that LinkedIn will look the other way as the bleeding continues.