LinkedIn bills itself as the world’s largest professional network, and we don’t doubt it. Since its launch in 2002, the career-based social networking site has grown to include over 225 million members, and it filed for an IPO in 2011. Users from every industry imaginable update and optimize their profiles on a regular basis to keep their job information current for the recruiters and human resources personnel who are likely to be looking for it. Having a current LinkedIn profile is also an excellent way to keep your name, contact information, and professional achievements and goals visible on search engines. It’s a great way to stay relevant—and now, we see that LinkedIn is taking steps to keep its value high, too.
LinkedIn’s Latest User Engagement
You may have noticed some of the methods LinkedIn is employing to encourage you to visit and interact on a regular basis. Most of us were intrigued when we learned it was possible to see who had been viewing our profiles. You’ve probably seen the email reminders about connections who are celebrating work anniversaries or new jobs. You’ve very likely received many endorsements for your special skills from colleagues—and you may have returned the favor. Plus, if you’re currently job-hunting, you’ve definitely at least skimmed through the site’s emails about which companies may be looking for a professional with your skill set and interests. One thing is clear: in the past few years, LinkedIn has become much more participatory—and don’t think that’s an accident.
What’s Motivating this Push for User Attention?
It’s difficult to say with absolute certainty what’s inspiring LinkedIn to reach out to its user base in these new ways, but we have some good ideas. One is the increasing popularity of Google+, which, much like LinkedIn, allows the user to mark his virtual territory and manage his online identity, reputation, and brand in a way that feels more professional and career-oriented than platforms like Facebook. (Needless to say, it’s a great way to boost your search engine presence, too.) LinkedIn is no doubt feeling the squeeze as Google+ captures part of the market share, and its handy new features are a means of staying competitive.
It’s also a good possibility that LinkedIn is experiencing pressure from its shareholders to stay at the top of its game—and, when it comes to social network sites, providing fresh content and new features is part of keeping users interested, regardless of the site’s nature.
In any case, you can be assured that LinkedIn is here to stay for the foreseeable future. And, with everything it has to offer you, whether you’re an employee at a large company, a freelance consultant, or an independent business owner, you have every reason to invest time and energy into creating and maintaining a LinkedIn profile that communicates your talent and excellent reputation. Don’t miss an opportunity to reach current and future colleagues and customers—update and optimize your LinkedIn profile today.