When you think of LinkedIn, do you see it as just another place to post a resume and find a job? The truth is, LinkedIn has become so much more than that.
For professionals and executives whose work depends on networking, LinkedIn is now a place to not only reach people, but to influence them. If you’re not doing this, you’re missing out on a key competitive advantage.
The Three Key Ways LinkedIn Is Growing
1. LinkedIn has over half-a-billion users
In April of 2017 LinkedIn reached 500 million users. People from every industry, every part of the of the country, and all over the world are using this as their primary professional social network. That means that the vast majority of the professionals you meet are on LinkedIn.
2. LinkedIn has become a content-first platform
When LinkedIn introduced Pulse in 2015 as a way for users to post self-created content and then integrated it into the newsfeed we know today, the platform began to change drastically.
Now, the spectrum of content-based tools on LinkedIn includes e-learning classes, articles written by fellow users and influencers, native video content, and themed channels that direct users to the type of content they want.
3. Users come to LinkedIn to consume that content
Because of the changes implemented since 2015, users have started seeing LinkedIn not only as a place to connect, but to learn.
The proportion of users who visit LinkedIn for purpose of consuming interesting content (as opposed to job searching) has increased from effectively zero percent in 2014 to nearly 40 percent by the end of 2017.
One reason for this rise in content consumption is because of its unique Influencer Program. This invite-only program promotes the self-created content of highly influential figures in various industries for free.
How You Can Take Advantage of These Changes
While the vast majority of us will never be invited to be a LinkedIn Influencer, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have significant influence in your industry by taking advantage of the fact that a growing number of people come to LinkedIn looking for interesting and valuable content.
You can gain the competitive advantage LinkedIn provides by doing the following:
1. Grow your network
In today’s professional world, it’s likely that you meet new people either in-person or digitally on a daily basis. You should be connecting with those new contacts on LinkedIn because it not only stores a new connection’s information and provides an easy way to communicate with them, but because it increases your chances of making the LinkedIn algorithm work for you.
2. Know the algorithm
Because LinkedIn is a content-first platform where users expect to find interesting and useful information, it uses an algorithm that nurtures that reputation.
To ensure that the content on users’ feeds is valuable to them, LinkedIn puts new posts through a filter to gauge quality and then automatically spreads content to those who it believes will like it.
That first two stages of that filter are your first- and second-degree contacts. If you post an article that your first-degree contacts like and engage with, LinkedIn will automatically show it to you second-degree contacts. If they also like it then LinkedIn will analyze it, categorize it, and then redistribute it to others who it thinks will also like it, just like they do with Influencer content.
3. Publish Valuable Content
You can put your experience, connections, and the LinkedIn algorithm to work for you by writing high-quality articles or creating video content about subjects that you know people will find interesting and valuable.
The LinkedIn Influencer network can provide you with clues about what is trending in a specific industry and what information people want to know.
So, Why Aren’t You Publishing Yet?
LinkedIn has grown into a content-first social media platform that you can use to both build your personal brand better than on any other social media channel. If you’re only using it as a place to stay connected with people and look for a job from time to time, then you’re missing out on its huge potential.
If you have questions about how to make LinkedIn work for you or your business, we can help because we already do it with several of our clients. Contact us and we can make it happen.