Almost two decades after its creation, LinkedIn has over 740 million users and almost half of them visit it every day. At SMOS, we work with this network on a regular basis and we know that it has incredible potential.
Ever since his university days, Reid Hoffman (1967), the founder of LinkedIn, aspired to go down in history, and he has achieved it, as his role has been key in building many of today’s leading consumer technology companies. In 1994 he joined eWorld, an Apple Computer online service that allowed users to review and download information, and to communicate with other users through a chat room. This undoubtedly inspired him to co-found “SocialNet” in 1997, a social media platform ahead of its time, whose main objective was online dating and matching people with similar interests. The service didn’t take off, however, and he decided to accept a position as executive vice president of business development at PayPal, the secure online payment company. The idea of creating some kind of social media was still in his head, however, and in December 2002 he co-founded LinkedIn with his former colleagues at SocialNet. In 2009 Hoffman joined Greylock Partners, one of the oldest venture capital firms based in Silicon Valley. He currently holds board seats at various companies such as Airbnb, Apollo Fusion, Microsoft, Nauto, Xapo. He is also co-author of two New York Times best-selling books, The Start-Up of You and The Alliance. His latest release is Blitzscaling (2018), based on his Stanford course by the same name.
Today LinkedIn operates a diversified business model and earns revenues from user subscriptions, advertising, and recruiting solutions. The company is led by Ryan Roslansky and is part of Microsoft since December 2016.
LinkedIn: a rock-solid track record
18 years after its launch, LinkedIn has a network of 740 million members in more than 200 countries and territories. Based on data from the latest report on digital trends conducted by the agency We Are Social, the average age range of this network’s users is 25-34 (25.8% women and 34.3% men). Almost half of the members of this platform (45%), access this network on a daily basis. Although the time of use of LinkedIn is lower than other social platforms (about 17 minutes a month or so), Hubspot reports that this network is 277% more effective in generating leads than Facebook and Twitter. In the opinion of Mónica Ochoa, co-founder of SMOS and expert in this social model: “LinkedIn is much more than a platform to find a job, it is also a very interesting marketing and sales communication tool. Profiles are a good window into employees and the companies’ fan pages are open doors to recruitment and also to b2b collaboration. However,” recalls Ochoa, “in order for Linkedin to “work”, to achieve its objectives, activity and a constant, quality presence are required”. Nevertheless, it does provide users with various tools to help them achieve their goals, such as the “Sales Navigator”, a free statistical indicator that compares and scores the user’s activity on the platform.
Facebook Business Suite vs LinkedIn?
Facebook Business Suite is a new platform announcing its arrival in the digital community, and it may stand up to LinkedIn… or maybe not? “From my standpoint,” explains Ochoa, “although the new Facebook Business Suite will allow users to manage two different platforms from the same spot (Facebook and Instagram), this does not necessarily downplay LinkedIn, since it is a well-established and recognized platform in the business environment. Providing many options for business outreach, LinkedIn allows you to improve brand awareness, make creative ads, improve self-management… In addition, it has very remarkable tools such as the “showcase page”, which makes it possible to present products or services individually, favoring lead generation”. LinkedIn has been able to adapt, reinvent and improve itself throughout its long history, and there is no doubt that this potential competitor will definitely not kill it, rather it will strengthen it.