Earlier it was unthinkable that brands can directly connect with their consumers, interact with them and even have a conversation that too in real-time. Previously, brands will speak and spoon feed the public, it was a one-sided communication. But ever since social media came to existence it brought a paradigm shift in the way brands do business. The market started to converse.
However, social media platforms these days are crowded. It is becoming difficult to reach out to your audience and have a conversation with them, and even harder to find genuine organic followers or consumers. This is where some platforms like LinkedIn are becoming more reliable to mine organic followers and have a genuine conversation.
Ever since its launch in 2003, LinkedIn has become more than just a networking platform for professionals and organizations, but also a green pasture for lead generation for businesses. It is a platform that is on the top priority for social media marketing and potential networking opportunities for B2B oriented businesses. According to a recent study, LinkedIn has over 760 million users from 200 counties, with more than 260 million monthly active users. 40% of those users visited the platform daily, making it a great place for marketing.
So why is LinkedIn a go after platforms for businesses to mine for organic followers?
- Professional: LinkedIn is solely designed for business and professional networking. It is not meant for personal and casual acquaintances. Essentially your LinkedIn profile is your online resume, where even your profile picture you would prefer putting your business headshot. Everything and anything that you want to post on LinkedIn should reflect your professionalism and your knowledge to your professional background.
- Designed for business: Unlike other social networking platforms that are purely entertainment, LinkedIn is designed for professional networking, and to share and gain professional knowledge. Between features like LinkedIn Pulse, Company Pages, InMail, Groups, and “Get Introduced” and the ability to see who’s viewed your personal profile, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for not only driving traffic but prospecting, establishing thought leadership, as well as recruiting. LinkedIn has something called LinkedIn Groups, but the process of creating and joining a group is more involved than most other social networking sites. LinkedIn has a special review panel that accepts new group requests only from professional organizations, alumni groups, professional alumni organizations, industry conference and similar business-oriented groups. Once a group is added, the group's manager is in charge of accepting or rejecting all applications to join the group.
- Different business model: LinkedIn operates on a different business model than other social networking platforms. For one, since it has the largest data on professionals it is monetizing its connections through its tremendous power as a corporate recruiting platform. In fact, more than 50% of the company’s revenues come from “hiring solutions” and this percentage goes up every year.
- User experience: Just like any other social media sites, LinkedIn is aggressively updating its user experience design to be more approachable to the younger professionals who have grown up with Facebook and Twitter.
As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a professional networking platform and not a site for casual acquaintances. Here, people are connected for a professional reason with a businesslike approach. The process that LinkedIn follows for new users to sign-up for membership validates that they are genuine. Even though it is still a platform for recruitment, LinkedIn has become a hub for enterprises to connect with organic users and engage them with stories and updates that are relating to their industries and the market.
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