I’ve predicted that LinkedIn is going to explode over the course of 2018.
 
As you might expect, this has gotten me a lot of raised eyebrows over the past couple months. Why LinkedIn? Why now?
 
Allow me to present my case.
 

Why LinkedIn could be so powerful for our businesses this year

There are a few main reasons I think this platform in particular will gain insane traction, and soon:

  • It is a HUGE market. LinkedIn has over 500 million users worldwide, 250 million of whom are active. Unlike Facebook and Twitter that keep your posts pretty tight to your group of friends/followers, it’s very easy to get yourself in front of new faces on LinkedIn. Seventy-five percent of my last 20 posts, for example, were viewed primarily by second-degree connections, or my connections’ connections.
  • Microsoft is giving it a serious tune-up. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn at the end of 2016. Since then, we’ve seen improvements to the interface, to video, to messaging and live presence. I wouldn’t be surprised if voice calling joined the mix soon (Microsoft also bought Skype, after all). This gives us more, better ways to engage with our networks.
  • Facebook isn’t an option anymore. As you’ve probably seen, Facebook is making changes to its algorithm that’s going to prioritize content from friends and family in our News Feeds. This means that your businesses pages – which probably weren’t doing so well anyhow if you’re in the B2B space – are going to get even less reach than they do now.

So there’s the setup. Now let’s get to the good stuff: results.
 

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What our businesses can get out of it

If we choose to dedicate some time to leveraging the power of LinkedIn, it’s not outlandish to expect results in these two areas:

  1. Attracting top talent. Not recruiting, but attracting top talent. If we do a good job of communicating our culture, our values, our missions, our methods – and maybe even a bit of our madness – to a portion of the millions of active and passive job-seekers on LinkedIn, we have a good shot at drawing in those who are a perfect cultural fit, and who will stick with us for the long haul.
  2. Winning new business. In the same way the right people will gravitate to us, so too will the right customers. We have the opportunity to brand ourselves at a personal level, and to network without the limitations of time or geography. We can build and bolster more substantive relationships. Then, when someone in your network has a problem you can solve, they’ll know exactly where to find you.

The trick to all this, of course, is building an engaging and authentic brand that cuts through the noise and gets you (and by extension, your business) noticed.
 
But I’d say it’s more than worth a shot.

As originally published in the American City Business Journals

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