Social media changes a lot. Some functionality is here today gone tomorrow. Your LinkedIn account might face restrictions today but I might never. Below is an incident detailing one of those incidents that happened to me several years ago but serves as an example of the never-ending changes that occur in social.
The problem is that it is hard to find out who or how to send a complaint to a customer service representative at any given social network and how to know if and when you are going to receive a response. In some ways, the advice that I gave sometime ago is the same advice that I would give today: Becoming a paid member often gives you a dedicated support line so that at least you know your requests are not being ignored.
Read on for a creative solution for those that can’t afford to pay to advertise on social media…
[below is the original post I wrote]
If you’ve been reading my blog or my tweets, you should realize that a lot of people are upset about the changes in LinkedIn Group and Inbox functionality that occurred last week. From the average user perspective the changes may seem minimal, but for those power users and LinkedIn Group Managers who are the best evangelizers for LinkedIn (I love you LinkedIn!) the changes are quite significant.
I am already feeling the pinch. My next Windmill Networking in Southern California So Cal Sushi LinkedIn Group event is tomorrow. I used to be able to easily send an email to the subset of group members that RSVPed me that they could attend. I can now only send out an Announcement OR have to use the very inefficient Inbox to spend a few minutes just to send out an email to multiple contacts. Composing a message to multiple recipients on Inbox, in essence, sucks.
I sent out an Announcement a few days ago to remind people of the event and basically positioned it as a last call for RSVPs. Today I got notified from the restaurant that they might put some PR muscle into this to try to get a lot more people to come to the networking event. Great! And because the common factor of those who are attending is their LinkedIn membership, it further evangelizes LinkedIn.
But, not so fast. The Announcement feature, which allows the Group Manager to send out a message to everyone in the group, can only be used once a week. My last Announcement was a few days ago. I cannot send out another Announcement. And it is just too inefficient to send out mass emails…after all, that is why LinkedIn wants you to use the Announcement feature and NOT email the entire group. So now I only have the option of placing a Discussion on the Discussion Board and hope that everyone sees it in the next 24 hours…I’d be lucky if 5% of my group members happen to be looking at it today.
So now you see how the new restrictions on LinkedIn Groups make it a bad scenario for both the Group Managers and Members. But what to do about it? How do I send a complaint to LinkedIn? And I don’t mean contacting Customer Service as they are the gate keepers and not the decision makers. I’ve been blogging about this all week, but now someone in Mass Media has come to our rescue.
Patrick Kitano of Social Media Today is to thank for taking the call to action. He has written a very concise blog post on what the LinkedIn Group issues are, echoing a lot of what I have been saying, and he also says that we should complain to the source of the problem: The CEO of LinkedIn. He includes the CEO’s profile URL and does note that he is currently accepting InMails. Now, you do need to have a Paid account to send an InMail, so this is not an advertisement to upgrade (I am still on the free account, by the way ;-), but even if a fraction of the thousands of people who read this blog every month will send the CEO an email, it may make LinkedIn a better place for all of us. And, I suppose that you can truly now say that paid membership does have its privileges…a chance to directly send an email to the CEO!
Thank you, and Viva La Revolution!
Feel free to comment if you have found a way to contact LinkedIn customer support and what your experiences have been so that others can learn from them. Thanks!