Changes At LinkedIn Show Search And Social in Business Has Really Sinked In!
Latest news that LinkedIn has added their own-version ‘like’, ‘comment’ and ‘share’ buttons is bound to cause some consternation for business owners more familiar and comfortable with the business oriented ‘social’ site.
Why’s that – you may ask! After all, as the social media wagon keeps rolling on, there can’t be many serious site owners who are not already engaged in some way with Facebook, Twitter, guest blogging and other social marketing strategies.
The concern is over a possible loss of niche identity in the bid by LinkedIn to compete more directly with other giant social brands. Meanwhile, of course, the likes of Facebook , Twitter and Google+ are continually looking to broaden their service offering and encroach into more mainstream online marketing channels.
That means that at some point very soon , there may not be much difference between the major search and social players as they continue to mix and match their established search or social identities. You may recall that LinkedIn recently lost the facility to display direct tweets from Twitter, and consequently, a significant input of constantly updated content.
LinkedIn say that the new look home page is a “simpler and cleaner” design, aimed at providing users with much faster navigation to find updates. In addition, there is to be an emphasis on photo content. This last change is interesting, not least since recent studies have found that a photo profile tends to be the first port of call for visitors, obviously followed by checking for comments on a status update.
All websites need to be ‘engagement-active’ to have any hope of attracting the required high level of regular eyeball traffic. It’s simply isn’t good enough to set up a social presence, whether it’s on your own site or at LinkedIn, Facebook or elsewhere with little to no updates/fresh content and further interaction beyond the odd job recruitment request. There are rumours now circulating that Facebook are soon to launch their own social version of employment hire.
The apparent merging of brand identity roles among the internet giants may not be a new phenomenon in traditional business model manoeuvring. However, it could mean that in a bid to compete for as much traffic as possible from the multichannel, the distinctions between search and social, personal and business become ever more blurred.
Some LinkedIn business users might feel this may not be a desirable direction to be taking. Facebook and Twitter users do love to congregate together in their niche interest groups and try to ignore the blatant sales messages. Will the increased merging of the two – as with the debate over personal versus the private realms – ultimately, be a step too far for more users than the brands think?
It may be worth watching the LinkedIn space very carefully over the next few months – if you’re in business you should be doing that anyway!