I love Linkedin – at least I used to ….
Linkedin allowed me to “connect” with my professional relationships, keep in touch and engage. At least that was the promise when you connected with someone via Linedin.
In the past 9 years, LinkedIn’s value creation for “relationship” has only gone down.
Case In Point: In the past 1 month (March 29th to April 29th), I have received about 45 LinkedIn connection requests and 20 of them are from complete strangers I have never met. Out of these 20 strangers, I have accepted requests from 15 of them based on mutual backgrounds and potential value the relationship could generate in the long run.
Anytime I accept a LinkedIn request from complete strangers – who requested the connection with the reason we are on the same LinkedIn group or went to same college, etc – I send a follow on email to find out what evoked them to send me a connection request and if we could have a quick discovery call.
Out of the 15 emails (suggesting them for a discovery/”get to know” call) to these complete strangers who have connected with me via Linkedin – only 2 people have actually responded back to me. That’s less than %15 success rate.
Here’s another stat that drives this message home: My success rate (receiving back an acknowledgement) when I “congratulate” my LinkedIn contacts – when they make progress in their careers is less than 23% on average.
Yes, my experience doesn’t stand for a scientific survey but I feel the writing is on the wall!
On the other hand, lets look at social & personal broadcasting platform – Twitter!
I have been able to engage meaningful conversations – DMs – via Twitter – even with people who are NOT connected with me via LinkedIn. Most of the DMs to my followers get answered. In the past 1 month, I have initiated DM conversations with 8 different people and ONLY 1 person didn’t respond back to me. That’s just less than 90% success rate.
To keep my relationships fresh, Twitter seem to work out better for me than LinkedIn. That maybe the case for other Linkedin users as well. Most of the time, my LinkedIn emails to people I have known for a long time(or for that matter to new people) don’t get answered.
Here is the bottomline: LinedIn can ignore Twitter at its own peril. Twitter is becoming a relationship platform that could ultimately threaten LinkedIn.
When a user signs up for LinkedIn, currently they have options to either create an account with their email ID or by using Facebook connect.
It is time LinkedIn allowed people to not only sign up with Twitter IDs but also accept LinkedIn requests via Twitter handles – not just email address.
If I further dissect LinkedIn and Twitter – both these platforms have distinct roles to play in the world of networking, conversations and relationships.
The biggest reason LinkedIn still “rule the roost” when it comes to relationships is because of the features such as resume like profiles, ability to offer a dynamic rolodex and so forth. If Twitter can address those deltas, Twitter could potentially threaten LinkedIn’s business – if not immediately, maybe in the long run.
Also, traditional recruiters and head hunters are still using Linkedin as their primary source of talent search, but with detailed Twitter user profile pages that addresses needs of recruiters and head hunters, the shift for Twitter from being a broadcast/conversational platform to be a broadcast/conversational/recruiting platform.
So, either LinkedIn could wait for the inevitability or maybe strike a deal with Twitter to integrate LinkedIn Profile pages within Twitter User Profile pages – this way, LinkedIn can preempt Twitter from creating their own resume like profile pages.
Here is my bottom line – my relationships via Twitter are looking more richer and active than via LinkedIn and I feel that’s a sign!