The text message came in Friday afternoon from one of my closest friends, Karl, and it read “Who’s Better Than Me, TOP 5 BABY!!!!”. 

As I read his text and saw the picture of an email that LinkedIn sent him, I started to connect the dots. Karl is part of the cool kid’s club. He is one of LinkedIn’s Top 5% most viewed profiles.  My response…. “Can I still call you my friend?”.

As I sat without power during the Blizzard of 2013 I had some time to think this over, and I came back to one core question. Why not me????

My LinkedIn profile strength is at ALL-STAR status.  I am an active member in over 20 groups, making regular posts and comments.  I have over 600+ connections.  I even pay an annual fee for a premium status, but I am not part of the exclusive cool kid club.  I feel like I’m at the gate of the airport watching all of the ELITE status flyers board first. Needless to say, a guy who fashioned himself as a savvy business professional with excellent networking skills had his bubble burst.

Then to my surprise, yesterday morning (Tuesday), an email arrived from LinkedIn informing me that I was part of this club, too.  Now who’s the cool kid now, buddy?!?  And the first person I shared this with was Karl.

You see, LinkedIn did something very simple and quite honestly, brilliant, here.  They fed into each of our egos and gave us a little boost.  They leveraged the 200 million member milestone as an opportunity to build some instant buzz around their solution and brand.  It would have been easy to send out a generic blast and say thank you, we hit 200 million members.  But LinkedIn did much more.  They engaged each and every one of us.  And despite some negative press, (ok Karl and I are two out of 10 million) they hit a home run.  

The next time your company hits a milestone, take a pause and see how you can engage your customers in a way that gives them an emotional high. The beauty of this strategy is it did not cost millions of dollars per second like we saw displayed during this year’s Super Bowl.  All they did was segment their data into groups, craft an email and provide a social sharing post.  Absolutely brilliant!

There is nothing better than being told you are one of the cool kids.  However, my bubble was deflated just a little when I was talking to our CEO, Don, and he informed me he is part of the 1% club. 

That’s OK, you always need something to shoot for.