I don’t know about you all in general but I’m getting a bit fed up with social media and in particular LinkedIn which I find to be possibly the most inflexible business tool I’ve ever come across, less useful than a stress ball!
Years ago in my internet consultant days I would be pushing people and companies to register with social media tools as then it looked like there were many benefits in doing this and after all for the most part, it was free so why not? Here we are five years on and what has happened with these tools that were supposed to connect us and allow us to network with the world? There are so many now and we have all become members of the same clubs and slaves to the same media. To me it seems the whole point of social media has been demeaned by the sheer volume of the much varied content. In one of my earlier posts, “What is social media really doing for you?“, I mentioned that the volume of content appears often “as a mish-mash of colours and pictures interspersed with people’s random thoughts and reposted “motivational” jpgs, videos of babies dancing and so on.” I personally find this very off-putting and it makes me less inclined to want to bother.
So now we have the “specialist” social media websites, the ones that are set up especially for businesses. The one I want to discuss specifically is LinkedIn because this seems to be the tool of choice by a number of people, institutions and businesses. What we have here in essence is a social media website with the very same people connecting with you as on all the other social media sites. Now I have a good friend who swears by LinkedIn and tells me off when I “diss it”, so as my philosophy is never-say-never and of course it doesn’t cost me anything, I pursue it. In secret, I just want to prove my friend wrong but don’t tell her 😉
The reality of LinkedIn for me however is this; I am looking to promote my photography business and make contacts within the tourism and travel industry so I look through articles related to this, discussions, specialist groups, etc.. and contribute as best as I can and try to network with people who share common interests BUT you can’t connect with people you don’t know! What is the point of this? Also, I am inundated with badly spelled and phrased messages that are completely irrelevant, e.g. “We are specialist in tours to Cambodia, Rajasthan, etc…” OK, these people also want to promote their business but in response to a general conversation topic initiated by someone who wanted simple guidance for a forthcoming visit to London? Hardly helpful methinks! I am also annoyed at the number of messages I receive offering me SEO, web design services and so on. So over now to privacy settings to see what we can do… waste of time, obviously there’s a need to receive information from “like-minded” people who you possibly don’t know (if LinkedIn will allow) but no intelligent filtering system… I’d go as far as to say that there’s not much that is intelligent about LinkedIn. I perhaps ought to point out that I DO actually spend a great amount of time trying to get social media to work for me.
I am also keen to update my profile information BUT there is a limit on the amount of information you can include! There are activities I’ve taken part in recently that I want to include but they don’t have as much kudos as some of the activities I’ve taken part in earlier last year so because of this limit, I don’t add them. I don’t want to include links to external details otherwise there’s no point in having the LinkedIn profile, I may as well just use the website where I include the other details.
The ONLY good thing I can see about LinkedIn is that I can remotely publish my Twitter feeds which contain details and links to my blog articles – but does this outweigh all the tosh that I think there is about this site? And on top of it all, LinkedIn are trying to get me to sign up to their premium version – ¡no creo que asi mis amigos!
So, I’ve vented spleen now and I hope this will be seen by people who can do something about it and hopefully Cheryl will forgive me!!!
Now, tell me folks, what are your experiences?