Attention LinkedIn: 10 Key Fixes to Make You More Popular and Valuable
My New Year’s Letter to LinkedIn.
We have been close friends for over 13 years.
You have helped me build a reputation as a marketing thought-leader and subject-matter expert In digital and social media. In fact, I have trained hundreds of professionals in the best ways to leverage your platform to improve their results from social selling and content marketing techniques.
I have also attracted a number of clients including professional service providers as well as business owners, entrepreneurs and marketing professionals from my position as a valuable practitioner through your ProFinder platform. I have formed and nurtured numerous professional relationships with colleagues through interactions on their articles and news feed posts.
I don’t want you to think I am ungrateful or anxious to break up our friendship.
In the spirit of new beginnings that permeates the business community during the first quarter of a new year, I wanted to suggest several changes to your features which will improve the user experience and return you to your professional roots.
I recommend the following changes that may even be easier to implement than following a Keto diet or exercise regime.
1. Stop copying all the features your social media rivals adopt. Most of us use LinkedIn to build and grow our professional reputations and networks. We don’t want to spend a lot of time scrolling through attention-grabbing, self-promotional visuals through the story feature on our phones. This feature favors the “gurus” with graphics teams that create content for Instagram and Snapchat which appeal to different audiences.
By the way, Instant Messaging is mostly used by those interested in sending creepy messages to former significant others. Professional meetings are not often arranged through the LinkedIn Instant Messaging feature. Please hide the feature.
2. Open the right to live-stream video to everyone. Right now, you only bestow that right on individuals that have large followings on their live-streams on Facebook. A LinkedIn user has to apply, prove they have a large audience on live streams on Facebook, and then wait to hear back from your administrators. This frustrates and confuses the average user (most of us).
If you are anxious to have your members create live-streaming video content, why do you limit the function to the same group of VIPs that you have been promoting for many years?
First, these individuals were identified as influencers to follow and then your algorithms show their content in the news feeds more often than content from any of our other contacts. If someone has a large live-streaming audience on Facebook or Instagram, let their fans find them there. Your users may want to spend more time on your site ( and of course see the ads) if you offer us the opportunity for our content to be SEEN by more of our connections.
3. Improve your algorithm by defaulting to a chronological news feed so that users can actually see the content from the people in their network who are not VIPs, but rather just important connections. Most users don’t realize you rig the algorithm to default to posts with the most comments. We all can tell how this practice can appear undemocratic. I don’t need to remind you that although you have grown to over 700 million members, only 3 million users produce content daily .
I believe more people will use LinkedIn more actively and for longer periods of time if they feel their efforts are worthwhile.
4. Offer the ability to produce newsletters for subscribers to more professionals. Many readers may not even know this feature has been offered to your list of key influencers. Yes, certain individuals are able to create and distribute their newsletters to LinkedIn subscribers through the platform. These newsletters are usually focused on leadership and management coaching, sales training, human resources and LinkedIn marketing solutions. By making this feature open to more users, more of us will use LinkedIn as a primary content hub for both receiving and distributing relevant industry content.
5. Improve the accuracy of the data you provide users on how their content performs. Currently, content views are tracked differently for posts, articles and videos and don’t measure whether a user has actually seen and consumed the content. LinkedIn should provide insights on who has viewed our content not just engaged with it, which is a much smaller subset of data. Demographic data should include more breakdowns by connection level and industry profession.
6. Provide ACTUAL Customer service by offering phone numbers for users to reach real humans that are trained to answer and FIX platform glitches and customer service issues. Glitches happen especially when using LinkedIn on mobile devices – please stop frustrating us and make us feel important even if we don’t immediately spend ad dollars with you. By the way every connection request I receive has had the same name on it for the last 13 years – This is definitely a programming bug.
7. Fix the Group function so more of us can create, manage and engage with groups that can help us advance in our careers. Many marketing professionals have found Facebook groups more interesting and valuable venues for learning, networking and developing business opportunities. Many users avoid engaging in groups as they think the groups have become too big and the content too promotional.
8. Redesign ProFinder so service providers can actually receive more specific, relevant, detailed information from RFPs in order to respond appropriately. The proposals are way too vague and do not result in requests that can be addressed properly and professionally. The limited questions combined with the ability for anyone to request proposals anonymously leads to a high number of seemingly irrelevant requests.
9. Eliminate the birthday and work anniversary reminders. These features appear silly and inappropriate for most professional relationships, and present as efforts to force users to engage on the platform. These reminders belong on Facebook, where in fact the responses are also often viewed as meaningless.
10. Buy Clubhouse. Early adopters have found ways to leverage the platform to build their reputations as thought-leaders. Clubhouse will disrupt the podcasting industry through real time audio engagement. LinkedIn/Microsoft, you can become a market leader by acquiring this functionality before the other platforms beat you to it.
Best of luck on implementing these fixes. I can’t wait to share the news with my clients and students.
Your devoted user,
Please tell me which recommendations you agree with and what fixes you would add to my list?