LinkedIn is one of those networks that just never worked for me.
When I joined in December 2006, I was assured by “experts”, ads and word of mouth that this network was the place for all entrepreneurs and upwardly mobile professionals.
Since I worked social media for clients, I felt an obligation to sign on for an account. After all, I tested a slew of sites to see what worked best for clients. (I always came back to Facebook and Twitter for the best results.)
I signed on, friended business associates and looked to broaden my own network. It did not work well, since LinkedIn forced users to confirm email addresses or other information before sending invites. If you tried connecting to several people the network thought you did not know, your account would be frozen.
Okay, well, that didn’t do me any good. I had to wait for people to remember to “invite” to other profiles.
Frustrated, I started reading up on what so-called experts say to do on LinkedIn to have a powerful presence.
Experts said to join groups as the way to expand your network. I tried joining LinkedIn groups for authors, but found most groups filled with people preening over their person works. I got more update-to-date information and better connections in groups on Facebook. I tried business networks, but the groups were usually filled with the same preening, or desperate pleas for work, book reviews or guest blog hosting.
Then, the big thing was publishing articles on LinkedIn. More “experts” came out with assurances that this was the way to get in front of recruiters and start working a career you enjoy. It would also help Google search rankings.
I updated header images, posted updates, commented on posts and returned emails, but never saw an increase in traffic to my site or from people in my network.
My Inbox was flooded with requests to join email lists, listen to podcasts, read guest blog posts, watch videos and do whatever it was the person wanted.
It was just too much noise. I had to dig to find messages from people who mattered.
I also tried some experiments of my own, but all utterly failed. LinkedIn was relegated to social netherlands until I was looking for a job, or changed jobs.
Then LinkedIn added some fun features to promote work anniversaries. My Inbox was flooded with all these messages from people I did not know congratulating me. My feed was filled posts absolutely NOT appropriate for a social network for the business-minded professional. Some of the posts were downright raunchy.
I can only assume people using a content sharing program like Buffer, Hootsuite or CinchShare just selected all networks to blast the posts, not realizing that while that post may work on Twitter with a hashtag of #sexymen, it would not be appropriate for LinkedIn.
Recently, requests to connect came from profiles that were questionable – which reminded me of Facebook fake accounts. People were looking at my profile, according to LinkedIn, but if I wanted to know exactly who, I had to pay premium.
Why would I pay for a service that has so far not proven its work as freemium?
Add to this I was never comfortable sharing my work history to perfect strangers. Why couldn’t someone write it down and use it as their own – or download my resume from LinkedIn?
I stuck with it because I thought I needed this history documented to apply for jobs via the network – but in the time I applied for jobs with LinkedIn, only one company actually touched base to say no thanks.
I’m working on building a home-based business and decided it was time to clean digital house. I started with social media. All profiles needed updating and I only wanted to focus on platforms with proven results. I took a sheet of paper and listed my social networks, then started culling the herd.
I first cut several extra accounts on Twitter and extra email accounts I had for a pen name I no longer – and will never – use again.
Those were easy.
Next came the networks I have under my real name. LinkedIn was the first to go.
I didn’t do this lightly. I had considered this move off and on for the past several years. But looking at my time commitments and building a strategic social presence for my business, I knew I needed to just focus on a few networks that paid off.
Also, I am not a fan of having social profiles that I rarely check, and leave open to possible hackers.
I’ve met several people who are afraid to delete ANY social media profiles for fear that it will impact their business image.
If this is you, ask yourself this:
What value have I received from this social network in the past three months? Six months? One year?
You may want to keep LinkedIn, but have several inactive Facebook pages that either need love to need to die. You may have extra Twitter accounts, Instagram or Snapchat accounts you don’t use or any number of other social media sites to ax.
Determine what you really need to reduce the digital noise and be a more effective business builder.0