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Is #LinkedIn social? You tell me.

What it is - is a network of over 500 million people.

Any day of the week on LinkedIn people seem to be bemoaning the change in the platform. From a pure B2B networking tool to a more social platform...... with new (ish) features like native video playing. Is LinkedIn too social now?

Some people think so... Some don't.

What is certain is that it's a HOT topic right now...

I teach LinkedIn to organisations ranging from corporate businesses and their partners to and startups and their tech teams. It's all part of "social selling".

The idea being to train CEO's and sales people up to get their own relationships and leads and use LinkedIn for inbound marketing / thought leading.

So I am bias in how much I love LinkedIn (whether it's social or not...)

For me it's amazingly powerful. And I am not alone in this thought Microsoft must have seen something in the rising star as well – officially acquiring LinkedIn for $26.2 billion at the end of 2016 in one of the largest social media deals in history.

So why would they spend all that money?

Thanks to the Buffer podcast for these numbers...

A quick look at LinkedIn’s journey to 500 million members:
  • 2003 (0 members): Launch
  • 2005 (1.6M members): Introduction of Jobs & Subscriptions
  • 2006 (4.2M members): Launch of public profiles for members
  • 2009 (33M members): Jeff Weiner joins LinkedIn as president
  • 2011 (140M members): LinkedIn goes public
  • 2013 (250M members): 10th anniversary of LinkedIn
  • 2015 (330M members): $1.5B acquisition of Launch of Pulse
  • 2016 (400M members): Microsoft acquires LinkedIn for $26.2B
  • 2017 (500M members): 100,000 new articles published weekly

As Buffer's Brian Peters says....

"What’s most astonishing is how fast LinkedIn has grown over the last six years. Between 2011 and 2017, LinkedIn’s user base grew from 140 million to 500 million – shattering the growth rate in previous periods."

I know. I was training businesses in LinkedIn from around 150 million in :)

As I was lucky enough to meet Reid Hoffman at SVCUK and he explained his vision for LinkedIn. And their plan to be an "economic graph". To basically take over the business to business networking world. From that moment I was hooked...

Many people think LinkedIn is here to replace the recruitment industry. Believe you me the original plans are MUCH more than this.

Which is why Microsoft bought them. The integrating of LinkedIn into Outlook and the new move for creating CV's with an AI assistant in Word.

This is just the start....

But has LinkedIn innovated enough?

One BIG change is the native video which I have only just started playing with. And from first efforts this is going to be HUGE.

The engagement levels are off the charts compared to other platforms. You should post videos on LinkedIn and see for yourself. This popularity might be for a couple of reasons and it might just be the "newness" of videos on here OR the demographics..

LinkedIn demographics

One of the more intriguing aspects of LinkedIn is the demographics of their users.

  • Twenty-nine percent of online adults use LinkedIn.
  • Fifty-one percent of users have a college degree.
  • Forty-four percent of users earn more than $75,000 a year. And they tend to have desk based jobs! So they can watch your videos.
  • Forty-one percent of millionaires use LinkedIn. They probably have the time to watch videos too.

Perhaps using LinkedIn will make me a millionaire?

It certainly has let me connect with a few.

Perhaps Marketing Monday should become a video?

From what I can see of my work on the BBC last week I have a face (and body) much more suited to radio...

Thanks for reading...