Let’s play a simple guessing game…
Think of a social media channel when I talk about the following:
· I am posting my Wedding Anniversary, my Child’s Birthday pictures, etc.
· I am posting some articles, searching for jobs, talking about things that are relevant to my industry of work
· I am posting Selfies, posting cool pictures of food, clothes, etc.
· I want to get some results on surveys, polls, or simply opinions
I am sure that the majority of you have given the standard answers that we have seen over the years, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter respectively. Having said that, I would like to emphasize that these channels have put in a lot of efforts to break this stereotype and try to provide users with more clarity of usage from their end.
Those who have been using LinkedIn for quite some years have seen the subtle way LinkedIn has built a very professional-looking, content-based, thought-provoking network of professionals, posts and followers who would like to stay up-to-date within their professional network. Just until some years back posting a personal picture of yourself with friends was looked down upon, unprofessional too if it was posted on LinkedIn.
So now why the sudden shift of focus?
Well, the answer to this is pretty simple!
Facebook is losing its charm! – There is so much paid noise there that you can lose all hope of being heard by making organic noise. The basic purpose of keeping a Facebook account was so that we could socialize, meet like-minded people, some long lost friends, extended families etc., and be able to keep this side of our life for only those it is meant for. What we find is that we are signing up for more promotional content, more noise, more unwanted, targeted and re-targeted advertisements.
With LinkedIn it was a totally different ball game, it is used more for professional networking and to share our professional purview and to read some great articles as and when we need them. LinkedIn primarily has been unpolluted with a meaningless pursuit of the perfect family pictures or the perfect holiday etc.
Pinterest and Instagram are some other social media accounts which have seen a sudden spurt of usage due to people finding alternatives for Facebook.
LinkedIn has also seen an upward usage trend and activities as they are being considered as an alternative to Facebook. Having said that, I would like to bring in another set of challenges that LinkedIn will soon start experiencing if this trend is not curtailed in its womb. LinkedIn users are used to some kind of decorum that goes with the territory and its associated professionalism, having said that, with the lockdown already blurring the dividing lines between work and home, there is already a lot of pressure on us to keep these areas away from each other. We will soon start losing all sanity on LinkedIn if we start seeing people posting their personal, family-related activities here. LinkedIn handles will become a one-up games’ ground for individuals and families trying to post something grander in their life events and so on.
The damage probably will not stop there, it might go further as below:
· LinkedIn becoming the hub of personal posts and images
· The content that matters will get overshadowed in the noise
· Targeted advertising that is making sense on LinkedIn now will be rendered useless, again due to noise
· LinkedIn will no longer be a professionally sought-after social media property, rather a personal network like Facebook, Instagram etc.
· Groups will become the new playground for promotional advertisements or promotional posts, not at all related to the theme of the group
In this renewed society where we are seeing a renewed vigour in which people are using social media channels to stay connected, and consuming information, we should spend some time sorting our connects on LinkedIn and see how can we still keep it as a professional network and not let it become the family & friends network; or for that matter an unsolicited advertising channel that has seen Facebook’s downfall!