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LinkedIn has Become the Worst Social Media Platform

We login, check for updates, and view random invites from strangers, creep on their profiles to see what the deal is, and either accept or ignore the invite. That and view the 300-thousand Happy Birthday messages, that are alongside the 400-million SPAM messages from ‘recruiters’ and that’s pretty much it

I started using this social network in 2004, when a colleague sent me an invite. It seemed silly at first, who the hell wants to put their work history and such online? This was what I said to myself as a fresh college graduate. I was afraid of people copying the resume that I paid $129 for a professional to write. In fact, I was doing more to not advertise that my longest tenure of employment was via bartending.

“maybe I can use this to SPAM the shit out of people”

But I went ahead and completed the set-up. In the long-term, what harm could it do, right? Plus I was selling software to Internet Retailers and needed to look native. This clicked in my head and the wheels started turning–“maybe I can use this to SPAM the shit out of people” was an immediate thought. Maybe I would have to make fewer cold calls, that would be awesome.

Some would say I was an early adopter–I would too, as most people I am now friends with did not create a profile on LinkedIn until 2010. My adoption of the social media platform was before I created a Facebook or Twitter account. For me, it was my first social media presence, oh wait…I did do the MySpace thing so I recant that statement.

Fast forward to 2020 and LinkedIn is all the rage. This is almost a decade after the IPO. I blame Content Marketing Institute for getting marketing departments hip. Suddenly, every middle manager and account executive with an internet connection is a content marketer and that to me is ludicrous.

Creating content is far easier now, and so people have adopted it. That is the biggest reason that Content Marketing even took off. Prior to that, people actually had to have an editor, or least a boss sign-off before publishing anything online.

I could write a whole series on this topic, which cracks me up because here I am knocking the very thing that has helped create my success here at Gabster. I’ll go ahead and get to the point.

The vast majority of people publishing on LinkedIn have zero digital couth. They arrived at LinkedIn post SEO and social media booms and never developed those skills.

In early SEO we were taught how to write for search engines, tactics like keyword stuffing were no-nos. LinkedIn is now rewarding this kind of behavior–simply because there is so much content, and they need to organize it. So the more times your article uses a keyword or phrase, the more likely it is to climb to the top of news feeds.

This is complete bullshit because nobody even reads an entire article, most folks are just looking for something to share that will help them look relevant to their industry. I know this, because I have done this before, it was just 15 years ago.

I saw a post the other day from a recruiter that had 27 hashtags attached to it. That’s just pure SPAM with a sprinke of ignorance. LinkedIn however deemed it relevant for my news feed. And unlike Google, does not have the shear volume of insight into search. They are just now learning … at my (our) expense.

LinkedIn has the same erratic post behavior that Facebook has. People are mixing business with pleasure in the hopes of being transparent. Pictures of vactions, concerts and kids have become standard fodder.

LinkedIn is now resembling the cubicle of the common middle manager, and that’s just depressing.

The very thing that makes Facebook noisy and irritating has moved from a personal experience that I can (barely) tolerate to being a part of my professional life.

I get about 15 “business development” requests a week, usually from overseas digital companies that claim outsourcing is the new black. These messages depress me for some reason, I guess mostly because my company is so easy to target.

What’s worse is I pay extra per month to be considered “IN” which is supposed to afford me certain luxuries that the common user is not privy to. The caveat is that almost all of these features are geared towards sales people and job seekers. Very little has been able to help me as a business owner.

LinkedIn has tried by offering what they call Pro Finder, a service that matches users to the resources they seek by allowing for a user to post a job and then invite people that appear to be qualified, all of which is based on profile content and how I categorize my business and services offered.

I actually provide a quote to these inquiries too, and land about 2/5, the issue is that they are all bargain shoppers who have little to no-clue what they actually need. My guess is that they settle on the lowest bidder. This practice reminds me of the early days of outsourcing on sites like Elance and Odesk (now formed as UpWork), whereby a user would post a job and sit back and wait for a flood of applicants.

The problem with all of this is that LinkedIn is not an expert at a spcific niche. when it comes to keywords, Google has a niche expertise, for outsourcing–UpWork has a niche covered.

LinkedIn is making the classic business assumption that more is better, and I suspect is only getting worse.

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