If you’re not excited about LinkedIn or you don’t believe it will soon completely transform the way professionals interact with each other, with companies, or institutions of higher education, watch this video.
Jeff Weiner presented this video in March of 2014, and even though I’m writing this post six months later, everything he talks about is still 100% relevant as his focus is on the next ten years, not the next ten months.
I’ve hitched my own wagon to LinkedIn, and after watching the video, I feel pretty good about my decision. LinkedIn isn’t MySpace or Friendster. It’s absolutely dominating its space and is primed for even bigger and better things as it continues its hypergrowth.
Here are the three main points I took away from the presentation:
1) LinkedIn has hit its critical mass. With 300 million users and 2 more joining every second, LinkedIn has grown to the point where it is a full-fledged beast and not just a dabbling ground for job seekers. All of the building blocks currently exist to create a fully integrate economic graph consisting of its 300 million members, 3.5 million active company profiles, 300,000 jobs, 24,000 schools, and billions of weekly updates. Weiner states that the only thing that stands between reality and the vision of its economic graph, is time.
In the meantime, LinkedIn will continue to connect talent with opportunity, and those who take the time to establish a strong brand identify and deep network will be rewarded now, and in the future.
2) LinkedIn’s publishing platform has huge potential. Despite the success of LinkedIn’s Influencer platform, serious content creators will probably disagree with me based on the idea that you wouldn’t want to build a house on rented land.
However, I believe that for the average professional who doesn’t have their own blog, podcast, or other media channel, LinkedIn’s recently opened publishing platform creates an outstanding opportunity to share their expertise, increase their following, and establish themselves as a thought leader within their network.
The option for users to intertwine their professional knowledge and professional identify into their profile was a big hole in its platform, and I’m happy to see them opening up the publishing platform to people outside of their exclusive Influencer group.
3) Business-to-business sales will never be the same. Social selling is all the rage these days, and LinkedIn is making it easier than ever for salespeople to find, connect, and engage with the right prospects.
Think back 20 years ago when the most common way to prospect for leads was to pick up the phone and call the company headquarters or physically walk into their place of business and try to talk to a decision-maker.
Now, a salesperson can research a company to find out which employee(s) they need to talk to, figure out what connections they may have in common to facilitate an introduction, and convert what would have been a cold call into a warm prospect. And by being able to see what specific content prospects are sharing and consuming, savvy salespeople can start to change their sales narrative.
Linkedin has come a long way since 2004, and I’m looking forward to seeing Weiner’s vision become reality.
Question: As a LinkedIn user in 2014, do you feel as through the platform is evolving quickly enough? What would you like to see LinkedIn add to make it more useful and/or engaging for you?