Changes to LinkedIn you need to stop resisting (at least for now) — Lionesses of Africa

by Bronwynne Wiehl

If you think LinkedIn is the new “Facebook for Professionals”, you’d be right. And so what? Here’s why I think it’s exactly what we all need right now.  As the world plunged into hard lockdown in early 2020, my business transitioned from managing social media accounts to social media coaching. There was a demand to build personal brands online, and more specifically on LinkedIn. Every interaction was suddenly online. Our time, both work and play, was in front of our screens. People were losing jobs and loved ones, even work colleagues. Industries were crumbling. New ones were springing up. The boundaries between work and home were shattered. And this was reflected in the content shared on the different social media platforms.

It was and still is, a time of immense and difficult change, exciting for some. But there were two common themes emerging during my interactions with clients:

1. People were starved for connection – human connection and a place of safety where they could talk about what had happened during the pandemic and reach out for help. LinkedIn responded with “Open to Work” badges and free courses. 

I wrote an opinion piece for The Times on how the Facebook servers crashed as people reached out to family and friends when we first went into lockdown. During tough times, we crave human connection and that’s the beauty of where social media comes in. Read more here.

2. People were waking up to what mattered in life – what they wanted but also how they could make a difference. Working from home, with the dog at their feet, hearing the kids playing outside opened many people’s eyes to how different a workday could be. The stories of success and failure matter if history repeats itself. 

My observations:

  • Nobody wants to engage with a company LinkedIn page. We want to talk to humans.

  • Most people have a strong desire to share their stories in the hope of inspiring others through difficult times. Other people need to read these stories to be filled with hope and to know that they’re not alone.

  • There is a thirst for knowledge. For learning new skills that the world needs now. How do we get through this? I believe that those who find the connections, and information and work through the changes will have a competitive advantage.

This was how I experienced the changes through Covid, but I saw it mirrored in the lives of so many people who approached me for help. 

  • Some needed courage to leave a job/situation that no longer served them. Yup, I did that.

  • Others chose to invest in themselves to understand what matters. It’s worth starting here.

  • The best reward was for those who discovered who needed them and what problems they could solve for others. Isn’t this what Simon Sinek drums on about? Purpose.

If you ask me, that’s as human aka Facebook aka touchy-feely as it gets. Stop resisting it. Because while the world is still healing from everything we went through during Covid, I think a splash of the humanness of Facebook, is exactly what we all need right now.

Even here, on LinkedIn. 

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