Is LinkedIn still the ‘go-to’ place for doing business? Whilst everyone who is anyone may still ‘be’ on LinkedIn, is there perhaps a question mark over its longevity? Facebook has seen a steady decline in developed markets, certainly for the younger generation. The arrival of TikTok, with its high engagement levels for both personal and business use has seen explosive growth. And, the arrival of ChatGBT and other AI-based initiatives already threatens the omnipotence of Google.
The question is perhaps ‘ Is LinkedIn next’ in the firing line?
Is LinkedIn fit for purpose?
LinkedIn was once considered the go-to site for professionals and job seekers. Despite being a hub for networking and career opportunities, LinkedIn has been facing several challenges that are causing its popularity to dwindle.
In this short blog, we try to explore some of the more relevant issues:
Saturation leads to low engagement
One of the major reasons why LinkedIn may be in decline is its saturated and impersonal nature. With over 750 million registered users, LinkedIn has become crowded with people who use the platform solely for self-promotion, making it increasingly difficult to stand out and build meaningful connections. Moreover, the focus on quantity over quality has led to a lack of authenticity and genuine engagement, making it challenging for users to connect with others in a meaningful way.
Lack of user-generated content
Another issue plaguing LinkedIn is the lack of user-generated content. Unlike other social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter, LinkedIn has failed to cultivate a culture of content creation among its users. The majority of content on the platform comes from company pages or influencers, making it difficult for individuals to showcase their expertise and stand out from the crowd.
A major drop in reach
Additionally, LinkedIn’s algorithm is often criticised for being opaque and unpredictable. Many users have reported that their posts and updates are not reaching their connections, which can be frustrating for those looking to build a personal brand or grow their business. This lack of transparency has led to a decline in engagement and user satisfaction, as people feel that their efforts on the platform are not being rewarded.
Growth in competitive offerings
Another issue that may be contributing to LinkedIn’s decline is the rise of alternative platforms. Platforms like Clubhouse and TikTok are attracting younger generations and are providing new ways for individuals to network and showcase their skills. That’s even the case of B2B brands. These platforms offer a more personalised and creative experience that many users find lacking on LinkedIn.
Lack of granularity with Navigator
According to LinkedIn’s Q3 2021 earnings report, Sales Navigator’s revenue grew 23% year-over-year. This suggests that the tool continues to be widely used by sales professionals and businesses. Additionally, Sales Navigator has over 100 million registered users. However, its lack of granularity in search, gaps in functionality, in particular with regard to the absence of intent data may become more of an issue. Equally, the simple fact that its accuracy can be open to question due to self-completion of the core data, this means that it is questionable as to whether its value as a sales tool has longevity.
Whilst LinkedIn may disagree with this statement, the primary user interface on LinkedIn has remained relatively unchanged for several years, making it feel somewhat outdated and unexciting. The platform lacks the innovation and excitement that many other social media platforms offer, making it less appealing to users who are looking for a dynamic and engaging brand experience.
In addition to the challenges mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is also facing changing usage trends that may contribute to its decline.
Shifting recruitment patterns
One trend that LinkedIn is experiencing is a shift away from passive job-seeking to more active career management. Rather than waiting for job opportunities to come to them, users are now proactively building their networks, creating content, and engaging with others on the platform to advance their careers. This shift in mindset means that users are now looking for more value from the platform beyond job postings and recruitment.
Decline in organic reach
Another trend that LinkedIn is facing is a decline in organic reach. As the platform becomes more saturated, it is becoming increasingly difficult for users to get their content in front of their target audience. As a consequence, some users are now resigned to having to turn to paid advertising and sponsored content to reach their desired audience.
The rise in remote work and freelancing
This change in the dynamics of supply, with the advent of platforms such as Fiverr and Freelancer, is changing the way users interact with the platform. With more people working remotely and freelancing, there is a growing need for networking and collaboration tools that can help users connect and collaborate with others in a virtual environment.
Overall, while LinkedIn is still an overwhelmingly valuable platform for professionals and job seekers, it is facing several challenges and changing usage trends that are impacting its popularity.
From its saturated and impersonal nature to its opaque algorithm and lack of user-generated content, LinkedIn is struggling to keep up with the changing demands of its users. Unless the platform addresses these issues and adapts to evolving needs, it may lose its relevance in the social media landscape.
To remain appealing to users, LinkedIn will need to adapt to these trends and continue to provide value beyond job postings and recruitment.