LinkedIn: Is it Beneficial for Anyone and What Does Its Future Hold?

May be your counselor recommended it upon graduation. Or maybe you joined in out of sheer herd mentality. Chances are that you have an account on LinkedIn. The real question is has an account on LinkedIn really benefitted you or will do so in the future.

LinkedIn for Individuals

LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media platform with the aim of connecting businesses and professionals world-wide. It is implicitly understood that LinkedIn is a great way for connecting with professionals, keeping up-to date on industry information and news, conducting company research and most importantly for job hunting. According to a recent online poll conducted by The Guardian, 58% of the readers voted that they use LinkedIn as part of their job hunt. Thus, LinkedIn is clearly delivering value to job seekers, whether directly or indirectly.

With 260 million active users (as of January 2018 according to Statista.com), LinkedIn ranks 14th among other social media giants barely beating Snapchat with 5 million more users. When compared with Facebook’s 2.16 billion active users one might be misled into thinking that LinkedIn is not doing as well. It is understandable that LinkedIn would have a smaller user base than Facebook as it is targeted purely at professionals and its average user is 35 or more years old.

LinkedIn for Recruiters

There is one industry that has definitely been revolutionized by LinkedIn: Recruitment. A recent survey showed that 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn as a hiring tool. Recruiters spend most of their time on LinkedIn, either looking for candidates or checking the credentials of candidates who have applied for various jobs.

For many recruiters, LinkedIn is the first screening step. Candidates with endorsements and a polished profile automatically distinguish themselves. According to Laura Lashbrook Colby, Division Director of staffing agency Beacon Hill Associates, candidates who have applied for recruiting or sales/marketing types immediately create a bad impression if they either have no profile or a limited one.

LinkedIn for Businesses

LinkedIn’s huge user base not only means more chances for individuals to be head-hunted, it also means that businesses can make sure of this platform to connect with other businesses as well. Statistics show that over 57 percent companies have a LinkedIn company page. This means greater chance of business growth through customer engagement and community growth.

While LinkedIn might not be the platform individuals are excited to log on to, it certainly has penetrated certain industries. This has hugely impacted B2B communication. Businesses can promote their business by participating in groups, by establishing connections, driving traffic to your website and more.

94 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn for content distribution because LinkedIn allows you to identify your best audience using A/B testing and for audience expansion. With 7 out of 10 people holding LinkedIn’s content in high esteem, businesses can take advantage of this trust to promote their products and services.

LinkedIn: What does the future looks like?

LinkedIn has big plans for the future. By far LinkedIn’s major issue had been engagement and it is taking steps to ensure improve it. Moreover, LinkedIn is going to be integrating a lot of video into its platform. From Video Connection Invites to Video Profile, LinkedIn users will be able to use this medium to make a much better impression than before. Moreover, this will also protect people from spam invites.