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.
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.