I’ve been bullish about LinkedIn as a social media platform for a while. Over the last year or so, it’s gained popularity across my network and proven itself to be quite the ad platform. But something’s changed. I don’t know what happened, but lately, LinkedIn has become more of a nuisance than anything. As a result, I’ve spent more and more time building an audience on Twitter, which is clearly the opposite of what LinkedIn is shooting for.
That said, I haven’t given up on LinkedIn just yet. Despite the annoyance of endless low-value notifications and interactions, it’s still great for hiring and broadcasting messages about business. The ad platform, while expensive, does provide unique features and benefits. LinkedIn has redeeming qualities, but it’s going downhill fast. Here’s how it can be fixed:
Kill the cold outreach
There needs to be a way to limit cold outreach. I’m receiving anywhere from 5-10 LinkedIn connection requests per week. If I accept the request, it almost always leads to a pitch-slap right after connecting. We need to kill the pitch-slap.
While cold outreach is important, it needs to be metered or limited to people within your network. Alternatively, LinkedIn could implement a cool-off period before allowing users to message people outside their 2nd level network. Whatever the solution, something needs to be done to combat the constant barrage of sales pitches from complete strangers. The madness needs to stop.
Maybe I’m missing something? Maybe there’s a box I need to check under my Account Settings or my Communications Settings? Wait, I have Privacy Settings, too? Spending an entire day fighting an application’s default setup is not exactly my idea of a positive user experience.
Notifications are out of control
Each time I log into LinkedIn, I’m inundated with notifications. While I understand the need to notify me of comments and connection requests, I don’t need to know what’s trending. I don’t need to know when one of my connections shared an article. LinkedIn is not a go-to news source. If it was, it wouldn’t send out notifications for trending topics or new posts. I want to see what’s happening on my feed and from there I’ll determine what’s interesting. I don’t need or want LinkedIn to do that for me.
The ad rates are too damn high
LinkedIn advertising is too expensive for SMBs. While Facebook does its best to work with smaller budgets, LinkedIn’s exorbitant ad costs are making pilot campaigns for smaller businesses almost impossible to run.
While I understand conversion rates and targeting options tend to be better on LinkedIn, they still don’t justify $5.26 a click. You require a massive conversion rate to make those numbers work, which is a big ask when users aren’t actively searching for something as they are with Google Ads.
What’s with the double-spaced stories?
I can read.
I don’t need every idea on a separate line.
Are paragraphs too difficult for people?
Are we writing poetry or posts?
Why do people write like this on LinkedIn?
I don’t know if there is anything LinkedIn can do to stop this, but it’s really annoying.
It’s not all doom and gloom
Projecting over 64 million users by next year, LinkedIn is still growing at a strong rate because no platform matches its ability to connect and support a worldwide business network. I’ve experienced a lot of joy with LinkedIn, but it can’t continue to devolve into a hodgepodge of low-value interactions. It can’t become a tool for annoying outreach and distraction. And it can’t continue to be inaccessible to SMBs. Without all these changes, LinkedIn might be the next MySpace. Change comes fast.