The evolution of LinkedIn
Once upon a time, a social media network was born – one that seemed geared only to employers looking for new employees, and employees looking for work. Unlike other personal social media networks, LinkedIn was rather “corporate”, and very much about being professional and showcasing skills. Then businesses began to wake up to the potential of this incredible network.
The platform has turned out to be a great way to build influence. What was once a job hunting platform is now a go-to place for businesses looking to network, seek new vendors for services, and search for the best talent in their industry. Let’s explore the way businesses use it…
1. The ultimate employee recruiting tool
It used to be that if you really wanted to get a job and stand out from other applicants, you’d walk into a place of business smartly dresses for the position you wanted. Even if a company offered an online application process, the best would appear in person.
Not anymore. Online applications have become the norm. When an individual starts job hunting, the immediate advice they are given is to improve their LinkedIn profile. The top channels people use to look for new jobs are job boards (60%), professional social networks like LinkedIn (56%) and word of mouth (50%). LinkedIn actually falls into both of the latter categories, as employees are 46 percent more likely to accept InMails if they are connected to an employee of the recruiting company.
Linkedin started as, and has continued to rise as, the ultimate employee recruiting tool.
2. The B2B connection machine
Not only are there an endless amount of employees on LinkedIn, but there are thousands of companies. This creates a brilliant opportunity for networking. There are businesses on LinkedIn that need the specific services or products you offer, and there are others whose services and products you need. Since you are both actively on LinkedIn, it provides a great platform to connect for your mutual benefit.
Consider that 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions. That is a huge potential audience to market to. LinkedIn has evolved into a B2B connection machine, and that network is a powerful place to market your company and what you do.
I offer a service to my clients where I connect them with other people within their industry (who aren’t conflicting). This is a brilliant way of growing their connections with like-minded people, where they can build referral partnerships.
3. The B2C market is growing
LinkedIn members themselves have wants and needs that companies can satisfy. One prominent example of this B2C marketing trend on LinkedIn is property. Agents are using LinkedIn to market houses, increase their referral networks, and by directly reaching professionals who can afford to purchase homes and will do so.
This is just one example. Insurance products, car companies, accounting and other services – all of these are using LinkedIn to reach out to potential customers. LinkedIn has over 830 million members, and 360 million are active every month. An astounding 44% of those users make more than £70,000 per year.
Some fun facts about LinkedIn…
- LinkedIn is the oldest popular social media platform. Launching in 2003, LinkedIn is older than Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
- The company with the highest LinkedIn following is Google with 25 million followers.
- The person with the highest LinkedIn following is Bill Gates with 35.6 million followers.
- 5 million users actively use LinkedIn each day.
- People ages 25 and 34 make up 60% of LinkedIn’s users. In addition, 20% of users are between 18 and 24, and almost 18% are between 35 and 54. Only 2% are 55 and older.