Is LinkedIn Worth the Effort?

Posted on September 15th 2011

I have been a member of LinkedIn for several years. During that time I have seen it grow from a simple resume hosting community with forums to a full blown social media advertising site.

Unfortunately, the advertising is from its users. It is difficult to find a group that is not inundated with blog posts wanting someone to leave LinkedIn and go visit their site. This is counterproductive for building SEM techniques and getting your personal brand out in the web world.

If you spend any time going through the groups you will see that the blog posts tend to get little to no feedback and simply take up space. The members are wise in knowing that the blog post might have good information but who wants to peruse through page after page of posts that only give you a little enticement about the topic and then require you to do extra work to actually get to the meat of the topic? This may make us lazy but I like to follow the premise that you must provide real benefit to your readers and not just throw junk at the wall and see what sticks.

The real issue that comes to the surface is, will LinkedIn get involved in correcting this shortcoming and actively try to stabilize their service so that it can function as a place for idea exchange and building quality connections? They are in a difficult position, with their revenue coming from total visitors and the amount they can charge for advertising; once their advertising customers no longer consider the site to have an acceptable ROI they will find better locations. Secondly, companies wanting to post job openings must pay for the pleasure. If no real people are using LinkedIn, then the job posters will not want to post jobs. And finally, if you pay for an upgrade beyond the basic account at what point is your personal ROI worth it when the service only provides a platform for blog posts?

I still use LinkedIn but am more focused on how I do the work. It can be a good source for building links to my blog but I do not try and trick the users into visiting my blog location. I simply say what I have to say and then provide some form of byline at the end to help drive traffic. It is interesting to note that in doing the simple byline, I actually get more hits to my blog than I do if I just dump my blog post link into the group. I have personally tried a few experiments to see what works.

The next couple of years are going to be interesting for LinkedIn. They have recently gone public and will be trying to solidify their brand and generate a stable and enhanced revenue stream. I would not be surprised if some major changes to how their platform functions are changed and we start to see new satellite sites developing that help them cross-generate revenue.

 


 

John Wilkerson is a Marketing/Sales Professional specializing in online branding, ecommerce sites, blogging, email advertising, content creation, print media, and direct mail.

863-398-2199
JDW.Wilkerson@Gmail.com
http://www.Wizmatic.Wordpress.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/johndwilkerson

 

 


Filed under: Tips and Tricks, Why We Do What We Do Tagged: Blog, branding, keeping customers, linkedin, resume, ROI, SEM, Social Media Techinques

John Wilkerson

John Wilkerson

John is a long time marketing professional. His work has transcended the ability to flourish in the ecommerce industry to good old fashion print advertising. With a background in Marketing, Sales, and Operations management, he possesses the keen insight to develop marketing plans that can quickly find the root cause and effect for building sales and online branding.
See Full Profile >

Comments

Posted on September 15th 2011 at 4:59PM

I agree - I especially hate when I join a members-only group that looks interesting, only to find out upon approval that the discussions are nothing more than spam Not useful!

Posted on September 15th 2011 at 5:38PM

John - Great article. I'm involved in a couple of groups and they all seem to be hijacked by a few who are doing self-promotion and others who post every article they read.  The result is not discussion.  But, when you referenced "idea exchange" that made me think. What if I changed the names of the "groups" to "Idea Exchanges" or something similar that more clearly states what the group is about?  We've all seen the benefit of true idea exchanges on LinkedIn, but we just need to make that more of the norm.  I am going to test this with one of my groups.  So, thanks for that idea. If it works, I'll let you know.

Diane Danielson

DKD New Media Strategies

Posted on September 15th 2011 at 8:19PM

I have never understood LinkedIn this way so you have made me stop and think. I have been guilty of taking people to my blog and I guess the balance is traffic vs opinion and connection. I know that some groups are so full of blogs that it is really hard to follow or read. 

Thanks for the education today. I will relook at LinkedIn again. Especially seeing as so many people are out there teaching just the opposite.

Posted on September 15th 2011 at 11:21PM

I'm a big fan of LinkedIn. It is absolutely the single most useful tool to connect with people from your industry all over the world who otherwise you'd never meet. It is like Facebook for business people. I agree that the groups are sometimes all promos, but the real power lies in your personal connections and the ability to contact them directly via messaging. 

I just wrote an article about the usefulness of LinkedIn Groups yesterday on my blog. Have a read if you're interested: http://facebook-advertising-marketing.com/how-to-get-crazy-traffic-using-slideshare-and-linkedin/

Best regards,

Kris

Posted on September 19th 2011 at 5:49PM

I've found LinkedIn slipping a bit in a couple of areas. One is the area you mention... discussions in groups where, in many cases (but not all), the only discussion someone wants you to have is on their blog. Why more group leaders don't crack down on this is beyond me.

Status Updates is another area. Some people now treat this like their Twitter stream, sharing every passing thought. It wasn't that long ago that people really thought about putting something important into their Status Update so they wouldn't be seen as spamming their business connections.

But where I still find value in LinkedIn is with the Q&A section. This is where actual discussions tend to take place, although because of the structure, you can't really have a back and forth. But the information in most answers is still valid and very helpful.

What I've done is answer the questions in my area of expertise as simply as possible, but then also point out a longer blog article if I have one that's appropriate to the topic. That way, I've given a helpful answer within LinkedIn. And for those interested in more, it's their choice whether it's worthwhile to explore the blog article.

If not for the Q&A, I would question whether LinkedIn is worth my time anymore. And it's interesting to note how many new tools are asking to incorporate your LinkedIn data to get you started. BranchOut on Facebook comes to mind.

AjayPrasad
Posted on September 20th 2011 at 6:35AM

Good one. Comparing with other soacial media sites, I am not getting very many visits from Linkedin, though I like it very much. I like interacting with people, but most are there for promotion.

Posted on September 21st 2011 at 3:59AM

This is something that I've noticed as well.  It doesn't seem like there is much converastion happening on Linkedin. Like you say it's mostly people just trying to agressively trying to push their products or their brand.  It does need to be toned down and they should really step in to save their site from really turing into a wastepool. 

If I am really want to know more about someone I just click on their profile which should have a link to their blog there.  I normally don't do it after reading 200 characters.  Be patient people!