LinkedIn needs to really get going with some new features and finding a way to attract more users to the platform. I strongly believe this is the year LinkedIn is going to step up to the plate and make it the undisputed sales marketing platform of choice.
Aren’t they already the number one? They’re the biggest social media platform that has positioned itself as social media for business, but businesses are on a lot of other platforms. Sales and marketing happens everywhere and LinkedIn is certainly not everyone’s first choice. I think they can make significant steps moving towards that goal.
LinkedIn Updating Features
In this new year 2023, I’ve seen they finally have a schedule post option. I’ve been marketing companies on LinkedIn since 2013 and in those almost ten years, we’ve needed to use third party applications to schedule posts for LinkedIn. Other business-friendly platforms like Facebook and Twitter added that functionality what seems like a lifetime ago.
I understand LinkedIn probably wanted people to actually be on their website to encourage a more personal platform, but this is business and the ability to schedule tasks helps greatly with efficiency. You’ve probably also fallen victim to automated sales messages dropped straight into your inbox.
We’re still mostly text based here on LinkedIn and video hasn’t really caught on here in the way it has elsewhere. Is that because of us as users, or is it a failure of LinkedIn because they didn’t promote it or make it user friendly enough? There are nice features here, like having images work like slideshows when several are shared in the same post. There are a few people who use that feature really well to help pass on knowledge to others and you can even include gifs to make it more entertaining.
Another example is being able to live stream. Twitter, YouTube and Instagram all have that feature. LinkedIn has it restricted and that’s a problem. They need to let more people use that streaming feature as in a business context, it can be really useful. If the business chats I take part in on Twitter could use a live feature on LinkedIn, that would be incredible.
What I’m certainly not advocating for is a complete flip over to imitating TikTok or dropping the idea of professionalism. We can all agree there’s content on LinkedIn we don’t believe is ‘professional’ or even ‘work related’. These things are a part of life and life is also a part of work. The question must be asked ‘how innovative has LinkedIn tried to be in the past?’ Was it really pushing boundaries or trying to deliver the best experience for its users? What does LinkedIn want for its future and can it grab that future right now?
LinkedIn’s Growth Opportunity
The back end of 2022 saw a situation where our favourite 280 character limited social network could have gone pop at any time. Such a huge upheaval at what we once thought of as a stable social network lead to an immediate Twitter exodus to platforms like LinkedIn. A reminder if we ever needed one that we need to own our online presence and diversify our networking and traffic/ lead generation sources.
Opportunities like this don’t come along every day and this is an opportunity for LinkedIn to become the social media marketing platform of choice for business. Sure, that’s been their niche for a long time, but has it really been the case? We know a lot of people love(d) using Twitter to promote their business and grow their audience. Facebook has been really popular for a long time, Instagram is arguably the home of influencer marketing and TikTok seems to be out for that crown. LinkedIn is not the only social media platform on which business is conducted, it is the one most of us associate with business and the corporate world.
Taking a step back, LinkedIn is actually a B2B specific platform, lacking some of the social aspects of other channels. LinkedIn is about businesses being able to recruit and businesses to buy and sell from each other. They haven’t really tapped into the B2C opportunities other channels have. Just about everyone on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit etc., will have submitted a resume at some point in their life and they use social media, so they could be on LinkedIn. They just choose to be on their favoured social media platform as their form of escape.
Grow market segments
Not everyone will want to be on a business oriented social media platform, but LinkedIn can grow to be more than just a B2B platform if it wants to. Adding new features can certainly help grow its market share by encouraging more audience segments. I know they’re going for a business and formal crowd, but LinkedIn can attract more people to use it a a social place, not just a stuffy extension of the corporate world, that could open up more B2C opportunities. There has to be a balancing act between attracting more users, giving them things that work and staying true to their ethos.
This is surely a great window of opportunity for Microsoft to make a huge step forward. I strongly believe LinkedIn are now going to develop many new features and make LinkedIn an even better place to hang out, build friendships and ultimately make sales. This year is a big chance for them and I’ll certainly be experimenting with LinkedIn this year to see what I can create; will you?