For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few years, LinkedIn is the site for professional networking. You sign up, post your professional resume, your professional photo, your professional work experience, and then you connect with LinkedIn professionals and….
I honestly have no idea.
I’m not saying LinkedIn is dumb. I’m not saying that in theory it doesn’t work or that it is not a good idea. What I am saying is that I’ve talked to a lot of people from all walks of life that work in very different fields and they all tend to say the same thing:
They are on LinkedIn but they don’t really know why they are on LinkedIn.
My brother is an exec in the business/banking sector. He has absolutely zero social media presence. He’s not even on FaceBook. (I know.) “It’s just not for me,” is his catchphrase when asked why not. But my brother is on LinkedIn. Why? Because he is a businessman and businessmen are supposed to be on LinkedIn. Does he ever check it? No. Does he ever post anything? Nope. Does he ever try to connect with other like-minded businessmen? Barely. So why is my brother on LinkedIn?
“I have no idea,” is his response. His reaction pretty much sums up most people’s feelings about LinkedIn.
Other than the soul-sucking process of searching for a job, I am not sure what else LinkedIn provides. And I’m pretty sure no one else knows either. Yes, you can post useful articles on it, but it kind of seems like an afterthought. I could be completely wrong but I am 99.9% positive that no one has ever said these words, “Holy s*#t! I am totally posting this on LinkedIn right g**damn now!” And I’ve never watched a video posted on LinkedIn, primarily because I know for a fact it’s not going to be a video of a guy getting kicked in the nuts. (A guy getting kicked in the nuts is never not funny – unless you happen to be the actual guy.)
LinkedIn’s slogan is this: “Relationships matter.” And that is totally true – just not for the relationships on LinkedIn. Yes, people tend to accept connections more on LinkedIn than any other social media platform. You wouldn’t think twice about connecting with some guy in Boca Raton, Florida whom you don’t even know but if that same guy wanted to friend you on FaceBook you’d be like, “WTF?!” People seem to value their connections on other social platforms, which is kind of the antithesis of why LinkedIn exists.
LinkedIn is often referred to as, “FaceBook for professionals.” This roughly translates into, “It’s a site that’s about as useful as FaceBook but just not as fun.” People seem to treat LinkedIn differently. I don’t want to say that it’s with indifference but since I can’t think of a more appropriate world I’ll go ahead and say it – “indifference.” People are constantly checking their FaceBook feed, they work the s*#t out of Twitter, they post photos incessantly on Instagram, and make countless short videos on Vine. Hell, people even explore pins on Pinterest. And I bet all of those people are also on LinkedIn as well. And what do they do with it?
Um… no idea.
I am sure there are people out there that are using LinkedIn to its fullest extent. (That’s with or without the LinkedIn premium package, which no one seems to have purchased, as no one seems to know what the premium package has to offer that’s so much better than the free version.) There have got to be people out there that are the masters of LinkedIn. It’s just that no one knows who they are, how they got so good at LinkedIn or even why they bothered to do so in the first place.
That being said, LinkedIn’s net income is listed at twenty-six million, its has a revenue of about one and a half billion, and it is currently trading on the New York Stock Exchange around two hundred and six dollars a share. So they are obviously doing something right with their business model. Maybe the brilliance of LinkedIn is the fact that everyone feels the need to be on it yet no one really uses it. Because I can honestly say that the most I have ever used LinkedIn since I joined has been when I used it to write this very article.