Strictly Business: LinkedIn’s Success with a Social Media Platform for Professionals
Why Savvy Business Professionals Should Pay Attention
Microsoft-owned LinkedIn is quickly becoming the darling of the digital marketing world. Initially, it was known as a place for job seekers and recruiters. Now, LinkedIn is maturing. It has transformed into a content powerhouse that is able to attract high-income individuals. It offers a place for business professionals to network, learn about and contribute to their profession, draw inspiration and coalesce about the issues of the day.
Privacy on LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers similar engagement features that we’re used to on other social media networks such as trending topics, likes, and the ability to see what your network is engaging in. You should drop all expectations of privacy on LinkedIn. It’s one of the most open social platforms. If you have viewed the profile of someone you are interested in, you can bet that you’ll be seeing a lot more of their posts the next time you login. LinkedIn seems to flourish from its foundational lack of privacy. It is the only social media network that allows you to know who has viewed your profile (you CAN change this).
Industry Thought Leaders
Much of their success can be attributed to their partnerships with influencers like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, GaryVee, Brene Brown and more. These thought leaders use LinkedIn as a platform to spread their message, and those attempting to grow in their profession aren’t far behind. If you are looking for thought leaders in your industry to follow on LinkedIn, check out this article from none other than LinkedIn Pulse.
LinkedIn is also encouraging users to share their thoughts about their own industries. They offer a long form article platform known as LinkedIn pulse. Users can now write blog posts about their industry which are likely to show up on search engines as well.
A Powerful Tool for Businesses
B2B businesses can really benefit from the use of LinkedIn, not only as an advertising tool but as a place to distribute their content and grow their network. You are most likely to have owners of other businesses follow you on LinkedIn than any other social media platform. It is a great place to launch a personal brand as well. It is easy for people to follow you and share your accomplishments with others while leaving personal lives out of it.
In the early days, LinkedIn’s advertising platform was clunky and had few options. Navigating the design of the platform was a turnoff for potential advertisers. Things are changing rapidly however as the design of the advertising platform becomes more intuitive and easier to work with. They recently demonstrated the growth of their targeting capabilities by introducing interest targeting and dynamic ads, however, their platform is still NOT as powerful or as intuitive as Facebook’s. This article from Wordstream covers the pitfalls in more detail (with a cool infographic to boot).
LinkedIn’s business focus as a social networking tool naturally makes it a platform that attracts those with a higher net worth, making it a gold mine for advertisers. Recent claims put LinkedIn at 500 million users with varying reports claiming a range between 25 to 50 percent of active users.
The savvy LinkedIn user is looking for content that helps them run their business better, provides industry intel, inspires them, and gives them insight into developing industries. It’s an ideal place for quality and long-form content. Similar to other social networks, you are being judged by the quality of your post.
The Future of LinkedIn
There are two ways LinkedIn can go from here. It can either serve as a megaphone for the chilling effect that seeps out of the business world, or it can transform into a place where nuanced conversation happens, free responsible speech is championed and people are able to discuss their ideas freely in the marketplace. Wondering how much LinkedIn is raking in? So were we. It’s been almost 11 years since they launched their advertising platform in September of 2008, and they have come a long way.
LinkedIn Advertising Revenue
Year 2009 – $23.8 million revenue (Source)
Q3 2016 – $175 million revenue
Q3 2018 – $2 billion revenue
- Almost half of Microsoft’s 4.16 billion advertising revenue
LinkedIn User Growth
2020 – 62.1 million users in the US (eMarketer)
The business and networking focus of LinkedIn has created a platform that joins users around the common goal of connection and growth for their career or business. By taking advantage of LinkedIn’s unique features and audience, it can be a valuable tool for marketing and thought leadership in the professional world.
By Adam Higelin
Adam Higelin is a University of California, Berkeley graduate with a BA degree in Integrative Biology. He is a passionate writer with a love for the environment, botany and music. A special focus on research based, scientific writing has allowed Adam to pursue his dream of educating and inspiring people to better themselves and the lives of others.