Linkedin is not Facebook is not Instagram

The business platform Linkedin has so far been pleasantly different from other social media channels such as Facebook. Unfortunately, a change has been taking place for some time. Inspired by the German magazine brand eins, I would like to point out here what is – still – important on Linkedin.

March 2021
Quick translation with DeepL

Social media can be quite consuming. If you wanted to use all the channels, from Facebook and Instagram to TikTok and, more recently, Clubhouse, you could spend many hours a day on them - and it would still never be enough. For more and more people, these platforms lead to stress or even trigger psychological problems. Some people also find the self-promotion of users incomprehensible and unpleasant. The business platform Linkedin is a good alternative. Unfortunately, more and more Facebookisation is taking place there, too. And that is a real pity!

Linkedin was founded in Silicon Valley in 2003; it has been part of Microsoft since 2016. With 660 million users, it is the world's largest business network and has 16 million members in the German-speaking world alone, with a strong upward trend. Originally, Linkedin was a pure recruiting platform, and even today, users present their professional profiles, look for jobs and assignments and network with other members. Mostly high-quality exchange also takes place in the forums. There is a free and a premium version, and of course Linkedin finances itself through advertising, called "campaigns".

Since Microsoft acquired the company, Linkedin has not only visually approached the Facebook platform, but also in terms of content. This has now been criticised in an article in the German magazine brand eins. On the one hand, there are complaints about postings that lack level and content. Photos of home-cooked lunches, walks and sunsets or even selfies have no place there. On the contrary, Linkedin is about content, in-depth articles and links to informative websites. Publications such as Forbes, The Economist, The New Yorker or Harvard Business Review are particularly popular.

On the other hand, pushy sales messages and people who force their services on you are particularly annoying. Especially when someone asks for networking and a minute later advertises a product via the message function. But postings with the standard formula "If you are interested, send me a message" are also idle. If someone is interested, he or she will know how to help themselves. These prompts are counterproductive. Plumply social selling sucks! It's not the collection of likes that counts here either; the internal "views of your contribution" are much more important. For example, I can point to 46 likes and almost 2,800 views on a post about my Master's thesis. That obviously makes me very pleased when a topic meets with such great interest.

On Linkedin, I don't shoot from the hip, I think about it. And by networking with the appropriate people and responding to the appropriate posts, positioning takes place. Valuable exchange and constructive discussions make this platform valuable and not the nodding reinforcement of one's own opinion. Or as Martin Fehrensen, the author of the brand-eins article, quotes from the New York Times: "There are hundreds of thousands of bosses there and millions of people who want to please those bosses."

I myself have been active on Linkedin since 2011 and appreciate the informative content on world affairs, politics, leadership topics, sustainable development of organisations and regions and of course everything to do with wine & enjoyment. I find the levelling down a shame and mute those people who confound Linkedin with Facebook. And so do others. After all, an article is always about the benefit for the reader. Why else would he or she invest time and thought in it? Therefore, let's go into the deep again!