Linkedin has proven itself to be a great tool and resource for building business relationships. It can connect you with past colleagues, introduce new connections, and offer industry insights from experts and influencers. Sounds like the apps “About Us” page, doesn’t it.
Well, here’s what’s also true. From a purely social media perspective, LinkedIn has left us hanging. In many respects, it lags behind its social media counterparts in implementing relevant innovation. It can leave users frustrated and perpetually searching out ways to do one thing or another, only to realize that the app doesn’t do one thing or another.
Don’t get me wrong – LinkedIn’s use and value are undeniable! But there are some definite head-scratching sticking points.
So, let’s just start with the obvious – native video. We’ve been hoping for it, wishing LinkedIn would get with the program and create the option that has quickly become the norm for other platforms. We’ve been reading and hearing about its pending arrival, lamenting its power to everyone who’ll listen. Native video is ‘the’ thing to increase engagement, and make you the cool kid on your connection block.
And then, it happened! It was rolled out to a select few in August 2017 and all was well with the world – except that it wasn’t.
It’s January 2018 and my timeline is consistently filled with connections wondering when they’ll get the native video option. I’m always surprised by the comments since I received access really early on. I wasn’t super active on the app at the time, but knew, and still know, many active users who are waiting. The comments inevitably lead to more questions – “Did iPhone users get it before Android?”, “Did premium users get it before others?”, “Did U.S. users have access before the rest of the world?”, and “Maybe they launched it on the west coast first”. Who knows!
I reached out to LinkedIn to ask the “who gets it first” question but received the canned “We’re working to release it to everyone soon” response.
While the company pages feature continues to increase in significance to the business community, it lacks a few basic, but key features important to companies attempting to increase awareness and engagement on this platform.
Again, let’s start with the obvious – native video is not available on company pages. Now, this may not be a big deal for larger companies with access to large marketing and production budgets. But for the small business owner working to get traction and basic awareness that their page even exists, increased engagement from native video can mean everything.
Now, this next limitation is a bit mind-boggling and I just truly don’t understand why it is what it is. With LinkedIn Company Pages, there is no way, on desktop or mobile, to edit your posts.
Let that sink in for a moment.
How many times, either personally or professionally, have you had to go back and edit something you’ve posted? If you’re like me, ALL THE TIME. Unfortunately, LinkedIn Company Pages doesn’t give you the opportunity to do so. Misspell something, want to add a tag, or simply add a sentence to your already lovely post? You’ll need to delete what you’ve already posted and start all over again. I don’t know what else to say about this, other than I just don’t understand why this simple option isn’t available. Come on, Linkedin. Help us out.
Another company page issue is the lack of messaging ability. So, a potential customer comes to your company page, like what they see, are really interested in your product or service, and want to reach out to get more information. Well, outside of clicking a company provided email link to connect externally or leaving the app for the company’s webpage, they can’t. Not that connecting externally is a bad thing, as business owners ultimately want to drive website traffic. However, isn’t LinkedIn’s goal to keep as much traffic as possible on the app?
According to some industry experts, messaging apps and/or functionality will be the technology most useful in reaching, marketing to, and communicating with customers in 2018. In October 2017, ZDNet contributor Liam Tung wrote about the smart messaging feature that’s now available. This is great for quickly communicating from your personal profile, although I would love to be able to personally choose available response options.
I’d be happy with just having basic messaging functionality between companies and the public, but with this feature being the next ‘big’ thing, I can only hope LinkedIn quickly upgrades availability and functionality.
What happened to the vibrant community that was LinkedIn Groups? They used to be such a huge part of the LinkedIn app, but now they’ve been relegated to obscurity under the ‘Work’ tab, on desktop and can only be found through search on mobile.
I’ve read points attributing the loss of Groups’ significance to many things, including a few from Social Business Psychologist JD Gershbein. He’s considered everything from LinkedIn internal controls like SWAM (this concept, by the way, is a real head-scratcher), to the increase of knowledge information that can be received right on the personal profile wall.
Whatever the case, I’m hoping that things turn around for Groups. It was, and should be revived as, a great platform of true connection and concentrated industry knowledge sharing.
LinkedIn has been my application of choice lately and I look forward to spending lots more time getting to know the features beneficial to myself and clients. I’m hoping LinkedIn will power through and introduce more timely, and basic, options so we can take advantage of the latest and greatest professionally, as we do personally.