LinkedIn, the phoenix of social media

How often do you visit LinkedIn? Better yet, when last did you update your profile? Why? Because this platform is about to rise from the ashes to become the preferred social media channel for many brands. Gone are the days of LinkedIn: the recruitment tool. It’s time to discover LinkedIn: the data mine and content powerhouse.

 

The Resurgence

It’s been less than a year since the platform was bought by Microsoft for a cool $26 billion. Before then, the general perception was that LinkedIn just wasn’t “sexy” enough as a brand, to compete with the likes of other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. But suddenly, the mood is shifting.

 

Immediate changes after the acquisition coupled LinkedIn’s network and Microsoft’s productivity tools for a more seamless experience. But there are much bigger changes in the works, and even rumours that efforts to bring greater machine learning elements to the platform are underway. Machine learning is pretty sexy right now, right? Smart move, Microsoft.

 

Word on the street is that Microsoft sees LinkedIn’s enormous data banks as the perfect foundation to tackle a new project – building a practical bot to enhance business users’ experience of the Microsoft suite. Just picture it. You receive an email from a prospective employee and Outlook immediately feeds you back their profile information from LinkedIn. Furthermore, meeting requests, alerts and document sharing are most likely about to get a whole lot smarter too.

 

With enhancements like these on the horizon, it’s no surprise that the numbers of LinkedIn users are on the up and up, especially in African regions like South Africa (over 5 million users), Nigeria (over 3 million users) and Egypt (over 2 million users). Indeed, even our clients are becoming curious about what this newer, better version of the platform can offer them, as we see increasing requests for LinkedIn strategies and training workshops.

 

A niche player in content marketing

The finance, business and technology sectors have been frequenting LinkedIn’s integrated content publisher, Pulse, for a long time. But now other industries are coming to the party as well. There are two very good reasons for this.

 

One is that, thanks to a new user-friendly layout, updates in the algorithm and more features being continuously added, it’s just, well, better. The other is that unlike Facebook, which has been seeing a lot of backlash from media and users for fake news, LinkedIn is viewed as a more serious and authoritative channel of content distribution. This is particularly valuable to brands targeting a high quality audience. Knowing this, Microsoft has even launched updates to further support this unique selling point, like LinkedIn Lead Form, which automates high quality lead generation.

 

The pinnacle of collective thought leadership

Yes, we are expecting to see a lot of changes to LinkedIn’s prior modus operandi, yet still, some things won’t change. It’s become the preferred place for employee and senior management advocacy, and as such, will remain the largest stomping ground of collective thought leadership focused PR for the foreseeable future. If anything, these new developments will only cement this purpose even further, making this platform the ideal place to get your brand messaging across.

 

So, give your LinkedIn strategy some thought. It’s going to become a lot more important very soon. Trust me.

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