About a week ago, I sat in a meeting with a colleague and we were discussing a few business connections we both shared. During the conversation, my colleague quickly opened up his browser, navigated to LinkedIn, and searched for a mutual friend. Within four clicks and about five seconds, he discovered that our friend was onto a new endeavor. Following the discovery, my colleague said, “You know LinkedIn is my network. Forget all the other social networks – this is my go-to place.”
Let’s rewind just a bit. The reason why I was meeting with my colleague in the first place was to discuss future partnership opportunities. But, the meeting wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t check out his profile a month ago.
You see, my colleague is an avid LinkedIn user who checks the, “Who’s Viewed My Profile” list on a regular basis. Because he saw my name pop-up, he reached out with a quick note (with the subject line of “BUSTED”) and the conversation got started. In a few quick exchanges, we scheduled a meeting. A month later, I sat in his office and we reconnected about work, life, and the future.
The importance of this story is that LinkedIn has always been a powerful network, but now, professionals are starting to see that its power is far more valuable than just requesting and accepting connections. The network is becoming a driving force as we continue to leverage our personal networks for business, and move forward in today’s networked economy where “who you know” is paramount.
There are two main reasons why this is happening:
- LinkedIn has updated their platform with more useful capabilities and revamped the paid options.
- LinkedIn launched a storytelling campaign appealing to the emotions of job seekers and dreamers alike.
So, in terms of revamping the platform…LinkedIn is now more like a personal CRM system than just a place to accept connections and congratulate colleagues on new jobs. One of the key upgrades is the ability to add personal “notes” to your connections. For instance, if you met someone at an event and vowed to reconnect in a few weeks, you can add that information into your LinkedIn note, add tags for searching, and you’ve just created a useful and detailed connection.
Also, as mentioned before, the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” function is essential if you are job searching, trying to find new opportunities, or looking to use the platform for social selling opportunities. I have actually sent an email with a link to my LinkedIn profile and refreshed my, “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” dashboard until I saw the other person’s name pop-up (okay, that might be a little crazy, but hey, I knew they got my email and had the interest to click).
The paid options also offer InMails (which are messages you can send to individuals with whom you are not connected), introductions, and an improved search filter that return better search results. Using these capabilities to their full potential can make this platform a very mighty tool.
The second part of LinkedIn’s rise to total relevancy is the launch of their new storytelling marketing campaign, which focuses on the dreams we all have and the opportunities that are out there. The If You Can Dream It, You Can Accomplish It campaign, features kids discussing their aspirations and then clips of people who are actually living out those dream jobs (and by the way, they are also on LinkedIn). The underlying message is that LinkedIn is the platform that will help you reach those goals and live the life you’ve dreamed about and always wanted.
With 300 million LinkedIn users (100 million in the U.S.) and about 187 million unique visitors each month (source: expandedramblings.com), the network continues to grow. The new functions and emotional draw of the marketing campaign may continue to increase that number and push LinkedIn toward its reported goal of 3 billion (empowered) users.Comments