Two Updates LinkedIn needs NOW!
I'll skip directly to the chase on this one and save the typical metaphor for the end of this article. After years of loyalty to this platform and appreciation for its possibilities, I'm stunned at LinkedIn's failure to capitalize or instead seek what I see (through personal experience) are the undeniable changes the platform could make for the better, right NOW!
Implement a Spam Filter
First of all, you have to go back to the days of InMails. Yes, I know they are still around, but how effective have they ever been? Try, not at all, yet they are, for the most part, one of the primary selling points for their nearly $80 a month asking price. Nowadays, an InMail is an even more clear spam message than spam itself. I almost feel bad for the person who is sending the spam because I know how much they paid for it and yet witness how improperly they misuse it. With all the third-party tools this platform supposedly bans, you would think that implementing a spam filter for premium users or a stand-alone feature would be obvious. Not only weed out those automated bots, but it also conveys to sellers that they may want to be a bit more creative in their approach. It would also give some much-needed added value to the user who is getting ready to find the next alternate LinkedIn.
I've developed some great lifetime relationships using this platform. Most of them started as engagement through a thread and evolved into messaging and eventually coffee or lunch, or dinner and gatherings with family. On a side note, that has never happened to me on Facebook. Now, like you, I may get 20 junk messages before I receive a thoughtful and insightful message, potentially missing that one connection's attempt to engage genuinely and truly add value. Oh yeah, when I open a spam message, the author and or bot know it, and they send me another one like clockwork.
I can save an account. I can save a lead, take notes, and place tags on those leads, and have them show up in my special Sales Navigator news feed, yet I have to download a third-party tool to remind me to reach out to them again someday. LinkedIn has search capabilities that are second to none. With it, I have access to every single working professional on the planet, yet I still have people who want to sell me Lead Generation Services. It's not even marketing. It's automation combined with a bot that does all the work for you using search to comb through your past experiences to send you a potential lead. "Just an FYI, I have LinkedIn, and with LinkedIn have 760 million leads." There's such an opportunity and a niche to create a CRM for small companies here it's not even funny. It's just stupid not to.
It's unfortunate because some phenomenal third-party tools have literally provided LinkedIn with a free roadmap for making revisions but you have to wonder if they're actually listening to their users? You know the ones who countlessly complain that LinkedIn is becoming more like Facebook. So what does LinkedIn do? They come up with a feature they call "stories." Now, where else have you heard about that feature before?
After nearly 13 years on this platform, I see so many ways to add value and eliminate those things that devalue it all of the time. From the saturation of lead generation services and third-party tools all the way to spammy cut, pasted, and automated messages. It feels as if, at some point, those will be the only things left. I see the addition of a stand-alone, turn-key CRM and a spam filter as two quick ways to add incredible value to all users. The ones who are always being approached by salespeople and those that are doing the approaching.
Yesterday I couldn't help but think of these two changes I would make if I were steering the ship as I received five automated messages from people trying to sell me lead generation services and sales training. I responded to one with the "hey, you know I used to a be sales trainer, and technically your colleague. Did you mean to send me this copy and pasted message?" His response was, "sorry, It was an automated message." Did I mention he sells sales training (Am I the only one who finds that ironic?).
Lastly are the gentlemen who have been prospecting me through an automated email campaign to sell me social prospecting services. Through email, yes, through email with an automated email campaign. I remember writing those in 2016 for our sales team, and even then, they felt out of date. That was my actual response to him. I sent it to him using one of my 30 InMails. I had to look him up, but as it turns out, he didn't respond.
I have to go now. My 7th LinkedIn rep in three years is emailing me asking me to renew my premium membership early. Sounds important.
What would you change? Or what do you think is an obvious change LinkedIn could make?