LinkedIn: Using gamification to make people come back every time

LinkedIn is the prestigious professional social media website that everybody who is anybody uses. It has more than 400 million users and includes many useful tools for recruitment or connection. It has 184 million monthly unique visitors globally. It is the main platform that universities recommend their students to join as it proves vital for future recruitment. So how does LinkedIn attain this monthly virtual footfall? After all, there isn’t a massive amount to do on it other than update your profile and connect with others, and how does it get people to return after a few visits?

Gamification is the answer, and LinkedIn do it wonderfully. There are a few great examples of gamification that I want to share with you here. Firstly, when you sign up to the website, it gives you a walkthrough of things to do, which is aided with the use of popups at the top of your screen. This reminds you to fill in information about your education or your current place of work. This walkthrough element heavily decreases the likelihood of initial turnover. The motivation of “adding a summary gets ten times more views” is a wonderful example of a nudge in the right direction by telling you what the results of your actions will be. It is a mini-quest, an equivalent to Yu-kai Chou's 'epic meaning and purpose on his Octalysis model. You know that by completing the required action, it adds into the purpose of completing your profile and raising profile viewership tenfold. This is backed up by the traditional gamification technique of a progress bar telling you how complete your profile is, or "how strong your profile is".

Another great gamification technique that LinkedIn use is the example above. Again, this is great for people starting out in LinkedIn, as it gives them a sense of direction and a hope that change can be achieved quickly and easily. Furthermore, it is a good example of "connecting" people, under Pete's 6C's of gamified marketing. By socialising people together it creates a reason for people to come back. Social fun is also one of Nicole Lazzaro 's more motivating four types of fun.

There are many other examples of gamification in LinkedIn. Your turn now to find some of those examples. Tell us what you found, in the comments below. 

Shane Fumagall