Why LinkedIn is losing the social media battle

There is now a social media website for everything, from short bursts @random strangers, to longer more fulfilling relationships with long lost school friends and family members. Both of these statements describe the two major players in social media – Facebook and Twitter, but there is one niche that’s been covered by a smaller, less competitive, player.

LinkedIn has been focusing on business social media since its inception, it’s where people focused on improving their career, finding new partners and opportunities go. But it is yet to actually make a proper dent in the business world. Everyone knows what Twitter and Facebook are good for, and have already had major influences on modern life as we know it. But LinkedIn seems to be lagging behind, no one really sees it as a go-to tool for social media, I use it professionally because it’s where everyone is but I wouldn’t consider it a serious contender for social media.

For a business-focused website, LinkedIn forgets about businesses pretty easily

Having been in charge of numerous LinkedIn pages for numerous businesses, I’ve been watching the developments closely. I’ve noticed there were a lot of features that went to individuals first, and it took businesses ages to catch up.

A great example of this is the recent “@” mentioning, something which has been a staple of social media for years has finally made its way to business pages after being available to every user on the website for ages. Another shining example of tardiness on the part of LinkedIn is video in feeds which is another featurethat has been with us for just over a year!

It still lacks major features that other social networks have

This is a major bugbear of mine, every other social network does it so why can’t you? Scheduling within the platform – Facebook Pages have had this activated for a while now, which arguably is LinkedIn’s biggest competitor, so why haven’t LinkedIn caught up?

Another item they need to invest time and development into is the Analytics platform. Twitter Analytics is great, I can go back through and double check time and date posted for any update from company accounts to check statistics,or even bulk update stats at the end of the week when we’re done promoting – with LinkedIn you need to be on top of everything before posting.

It needs to think of something soon because Google and Facebook are working on taking their throne.

Facebook for Work or “Workplace”, whatever they want to call it, is essentially going to become a main competitor to LinkedIn. Why would you want to make another profile, on another website, when you can just use the websites you are used to? Yes there is the worry about the two accounts being closely associated, what if you send a career ruining snap to your work colleagues instead of your pals?

I honestly don’t think that’s enough of a deterrent for people. If Facebook can make connecting to work and industry colleagues easier, then I can imagine everyone will jump at the chance.

So what do LinkedIn need to do?

Their acquisition by Microsoft couldn’t have come at a better time, the computing giant needs to put development of the platform at the forefront. It’s time for LinkedIn to become a real competitor in the industry of social media, add in all the missing features and branch out into new things.

It’s possible, even at this late stage, that a sleeping giant like LinkedIn has the user base and power to take on the reigning champion of social media, currently Facebook, where others have failed. Or they might just become the next casualty of the ever changing internet landscape. It’s time to act before they are the next MySpace.

I’ve got a post about Twitter and why they are struggling too if this one got you thinking.