LinkedIn: The beginning of the end?

There is no question THE social business platform is LinkedIn. However, I have noticed signs the behemoth may be in danger.

I know, you think I’m just going to talk about how it has been leaning to a facebook type interaction. (just 10 minutes ago I saw someone post a blonde joke). Not much question this is having a negative impact on the business networking focus.

Many come on here now and ‘like’ and comment on attractive women selfies. Post pictures of their food, their dog, or even night on the town.

As I observe this I’m noticing a civil war quietly brewing. Those that want LinkedIn to get back to more of a professional forum, and those who just come here to burn time.

I had a connection respond to another user’s post about how they are sick of the way LinkedIn is going. He replied (and he was not the subject of the post) “I will say any damn thing I want, it’s a public website!”. I immediately removed him from contacts.

As you noticed not only did he become very unprofessional, he attacked someone over what he was defending… his right to speak freely. And by the way, while this may be an open forum it is not public property. There are rules and LinkedIn does ban people.

Aside from the facebooky trend, have you seen the groups lately? Activity for several I was in that have over 100k members are near silent. Only marketers posting links to blogs or ads. No interaction. No ‘likes’. No nothing.

This my friends is not a good sign.

As a strategic business consultant I am VERY well aware of the importance of social media is in 2017. The problem is people don’t know how to engage in a beneficial manner. They either talk at you, talk about nothing or don’t talk at all.

LINKEDIN IS NOT CRAIGSLIST

Then we have the business people truly trying to use LinkedIn to better themselves but don’t quite ‘get it’. I see many post just like they would if this was craigslist. I see carpet cleaning specials, lawncare offers…

For one, if your business is that bad of shape you need to post unpaid ads (if you use paid advertising you can actually make that work as its targeted) on LinkedIn, you’re in serious trouble. Focus on effective forms of advertising (including utilizing your current client base which is largely FREE).

LinkedIn’s sole purpose is to connect people. You’re building a foundation and it takes time (moves quicker with great engagement). Chose who you interact with carefully so you don’t end up getting washed away in the minutia of social media.

Go through your contacts and ENGAGE them. No, don’t send a damn email with a link to your site or an offer. Talk about them. Target contacts you’d like most to have as clients (or to team up to leverage each other).

How I engage takes the dreaded time we all hate. I look for the ideal people I could benefit the most and contact them talking about, them. Their business, their past experience, their posts or articles. A simple “Hey John, I was just noticing your website. Looks great! Do you get a lot of leads from it or is it so-so?”

While you can sense I’m leading John, and he looks at my tagline he partly thinks I’m working an angle… AND THAT’S OK! John owns a business too! Think he isn’t working angles? The important statistic is 89% of people respond to me which = a conversation.

I warn you not to send that message just after connecting. Rather send just a greeting with no sales junk. You’ll be forever lost to that connection if you do.

Honest engagement can do more for you professionally then you can imagine. Use your talents, experience or training to interact on a meaningful level. Set aside your political, cynical, or need for attention to focus on what attention you get and what it will do for you and/or your business.

I’m not sure why facebook isn’t enough for people and they come here to clog up our feed with their crap. But if they put that same effort into building relationships as they do trying to position themselves as funny, sexy or controversial, they’d be too busy making money to sit on here doing nothing.

Paul Parkin

Strategic Business Consultant

If you need help in your business (as we all do), feel free to contact me. We can chat about your situation and how I can help you make it better. BrandWhisperer