This LinkedIn sayonara message says it all.

Over the past several years, it’s been painfully evident to me as well as many other people that LinkedIn has become a sort of Potemkin Village regarding its professional groups.

While many groups boast enviable membership levels, there’s been precious little going on with them.

It’s almost as if the vast majority of people who signed up for membership in these groups did so only to be “seen” as being active in them – without really caring at all about actually interacting with other members.

And if any more proof were needed, try advertising your product or brand on LinkedIn.

Crickets.

Today I received the following message from Alex Clarke, digital content manager and moderator of the B2B Marketing LinkedIn group. You know them:  publishers of B2B Marketing, one of the most well-respected media properties in the marketing field.

We’ll let the Alex Clarke memo speak for itself:

What ever happened to LinkedIn Groups? What was once a bustling metropolis, teeming with valuable discussion and like-minded peers sharing success and insight has now become a desolate, post-apocalyptic wasteland – home only to spammers and tumbleweed. 

We’re sad, because, like many other groups, our 70,000+ strong LinkedIn community has become a stagnant place, despite constant love and attention and our best efforts to breathe life into its lonely corridors. 

That’s why we’re moving to a new home … Facebook: bit.ly/B2BGroupFB. 

We’re aiming to build a similar – and ultimately, better – community on this platform, with an eye on providing B2B marketers with a place to seek advice, share success, and connect with like-minded professionals in a well-moderated environment. 

We’ll still drop in to keep an eye on the LinkedIn Group, continuing to moderate discussions and approve new members, but much of our effort will be invested in building a brand-new community on Facebook. Many of you will already know each other, but please feel free to say hello!  We’re really excited to see where this goes, thanks for coming along with us.

So, while B2B Marketing will maintain a default presence on LinkedIn, what’s clear is that it’s abandoning that social platform in favor of one where it feels it will find more success.

Who knows if Facebook will ultimately prove the better fit for professional interaction. On the face of it, LinkedIn would seem better-aligned for the professional world as compared to than the “friends / family / hobbies / virulent politics / cat videos” orientation of Facebook.

Time will tell, of course.

Either way, this is a huge indictment of LinkedIn and its failure to build a presence in the cyberworld that goes beyond being a shingle for newly minted “business consultants,” or a place for people to park their resumes until the time comes when they’re ready to seek a new job.

It’s quite a disappointment, actually.

3 thoughts on “This LinkedIn sayonara message says it all.

  1. I always thought of LinkedIn as a place to network for employment. My thought is that no one has time to have serious professional conversations on there because they are busy doing this where they work.

    Funny after the first paragraph of Alex Clarke, before I saw the word Facebook, I said to myself, they are on FB if are they are going to be on social media conversing.

    However, I don’t know many who are having active business conversations. It seems to be more about personal life, and politics.

  2. Thanks for your post, Phillip — I’m really glad you can see where we’re coming from with this move. I also completely agree that it’s a valid experiment, and who knows where it might lead?

    I think the only thing we can say with any confidence is that social media platforms and user behaviours will continue to evolve, and that we need to change with them. Witness the apparent unwillingness of teens to engage on Facebook, and the decline in new registrations on Twitter. If we believe these things are fixed, then we’ll go the way of the dinosaurs!

    But perhaps more to your point, Julie, there’s a lot of anecdotal and quantifiable evidence that a lot of business-related conversations are already happening on Facebook … although possibly not explicitly, in the way that they do on LinkedIn. People use the platform for interpersonal messaging about vendors, services, etc. We all understand the power of advocacy and recommendation in B2B.

    So let’s see how it all goes. I’m excited by the number of signups we’ve seen in the last few days … although the real verdict will only be clear in the long-term.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s