The Linkedin Fingers Rule

By Gil Gerretsen

I think people are using Linkedin (and most other social media) backwards. Everyone is busily cranking out articles and blog posts and videos ... and then sharing them to their social media streams. The problem is that few people are looking at the stuff they create (often nobody) because they, in turn, are pushing out their own content. They're too busy working on their own "creations" to take notice of anything that someone else has done!

I think people have missed the obvious opportunity that could provide far greater reach and influence. It's sitting right under their nose and almost everyone is ignoring it. It's also a LOT less work! However, for anyone to remember this idea ... and give it some weight ... and make it more shareable ... I have to give it a name. Yup, I have to "brand" it because that's how people's brains work.

So here it comes ...

The Fingers Rule

The Fingers Rule follows the core social media principle that when you create some content and put it in your stream, then the only people who see it are the people you're already connected to. If some of those "friends" make a remark or perhaps share it, then some of their friends will see it too, but that chain dies out almost immediately.

Now flip the process around. When you comment on someone else's content, then everyone in your stream sees it and everyone in their stream sees it. If someone else in their network also comments, then everyone in that person's stream is more likely to notice your remark too ... especially if their remark is a comment to your remark.

See the idea? If you comment on other people content ... and then comment on other people's remarks ... well the thing blossoms. Lots of people see you and have a far greater chance of being impacted by you ... and you by them. All you need is a sentence or two. Something really profound or savvy and people will go "Wow, who is that person?" Easy, right?

Now, here's where the Fingers Rule come into play. For every piece of content you create or post (i.e. shares), you should make ten (10) comments or remarks on someone else's stuff. Most readers of this article will have ten fingers. That's why I called it the Fingers Rule. If you have more or less than 10 fingers, you can adjust accordingly. People will give you an appropriate pass.

Give it a try and see what happens. Maybe the influence you long for will finally come to pass.