LinkedIn as a Managed Service? No Thanks…

By Nigel Cliffe

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You will be aware of the expression ‘Software-as-a-Service’?

I heard a new one this week which made me think:

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS)

As transport becomes more about the getting from A to B rather than how we do it, not owning our own car, sharing transport, public and private, MaaS will become the norm.

The list goes on:

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
  • Cloud-as-a-Service (CaaS)
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
  • Hardware-as-a-Service (HaaS)
  • Communication-as-a-Service (CaaS)
  • Healthcare-as-a-Service (HaaS)
  • Pizza-as-a-Service (PaaS) (I’m joking, or am I?)

There is even an expression ‘Everything-as-a-Service’ commonly abbreviated as ‘XaaS’!

But there is one that won’t catch on:

LinkedIn-as-a-Service (LaaS)

Why LinkedIn as a Managed Service is a Dangerous Route to Embrace

You can’t outsource relationships. Your Heart, your Head and your Gut are what relationships are built on. Giving, and sometimes taking. The very purpose of LinkedIn is to make the facilitation of professional relationship-building easier. People buy from people. People trust authenticity. People value honesty and transparency.

I’ve written before about how LinkedIn has the power to position you as a thought-leader within your industry if you consistently use the platform to publish interesting posts, original articles, and useful resources (in the form of videos, photos, infographics or podcasts) sharing advice you’ve learned and experiences you’ve had whilst working in your field. If you treat your LinkedIn as a managed service, paying someone else to write the content published on your LinkedIn profile, people will soon see that it’s not you doing the thinking and the leading behind the thought leadership!

Likewise, I’ve explored the importance of personalising LinkedIn connection requests. You can’t truly personalise a message if you’ve hired someone else to write your ‘personal’ message to your prospective Connections for you. You may have parted with your hard-earned cash if you’re treating LinkedIn as a managed service and paying someone to manage your Profile activity on your behalf, but you haven’t parted with your time. How can you expect people to take the time to accept your Connection request and start a professional relationship with you if you can’t give them the time of day and effort to personalise a message to them in the first instance?

Take engagement as another example. I’ve shared many times how important it is to contribute relevant comments on other people’s LinkedIn posts and to have conversations, debates and open a dialogue on social media. If you embrace LinkedIn-as-a-Service and someone else is posing as you and commenting for you on your Connections’ posts and viewing people’s Profiles for you, they are bound to slip up. Even the best, well-informed marketer you hire is going to say the wrong thing in a comment at some point. Posing as someone else will inevitably result in discrepancies. It’s the equivalent of talking to someone at a business meeting or networking event sporting a very convincing disguise and costume resembling someone else! ‘We didn’t meet there.’ ‘I never told them that.’ ‘What are they on about?’ will embarrassingly become the thoughts of your valued connections!

I Get You’re Busy…

The only reason I can see for treating LinkedIn as a managed service is that you consider yourself ‘too busy’ to manage your own profile and content output. I can understand big companies hiring a marketing agency to manage their LinkedIn Page content, as a page represents a company or organisation and having a staff member coordinate and create insightful content from across the whole organisation is quite a time-consuming task.

Similarly, I can emphasise with you feeling like you don’t have the expertise to professionally manage your company’s LinkedIn Page or LinkedIn ads, but your profile content is your thoughts, ideas, advice, and suggestions. Only you are an expert in you!

Those that want to fast-track your LinkedIn success will fail if you begin to treat LinkedIn as a managed service and something you can outsource.

LaaS? Nah, it’ll never catch on…

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