Who or What Is LinkedIn?
If Facebook is mostly used for socializing—sharing videos and photos or keeping in touch with friends and family, then LinkedIn is its cool and professional Uncle.
Around 1993, www.aol.com (America Online) started to get people to go online by distributing floppy disks. Reid Hoffman, one of the founders and currently the Chairman of LinkedIn, knew back then that he wanted to make a difference in the lives of people. He recognized the importance of building, maintaining and leveraging on one’s professional network in order to stay connected and relevant among one’s peers, colleagues, investors and or prospective employers.
After gathering professional experiences from Apple in the Software Development Department and at Fujitsu for Product Management, Hoffman, together with four other partners who were also professionals and executives from Social.net and PayPal namely Allen Blue, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Eric Ly, Konstantin Guericke launched LinkedIn on May 5, 2003. The 13 employees associated with LinkedIn at the time of launch, invited around 112 people. The rest as they say is history.
With its headquarters in Mountain View, California, LinkedIn currently has more than 7,000 full time employees spread out across 30 major cities. To name a few of its hubs are offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco Washington D.C., Amsterdam, Dublin, London, Munich and Madrid, Milan, Singapore, Australia, India, Canada and China.
For all intents and purposes, though LinkedIn is a social networking site, it is a site targeted towards business professionals and companies who put themselves ‘out there’ by either looking for job opportunities or the right candidate, or connecting with prospective business partners.
What Can LinkedIn Do For Me? For My Brand?
The LinkedIn that started twelve years ago has surely evolved into the robust online platform it is today. Currently, the site has a community size of more than 300 million members, a combination of both professional individuals and companies. Answering the varying needs of its diverse membership is challenging, especially for companies or brands that see the potential in marketing their goods or services in the site. Because of this, LinkedIn has acknowledged its role and influence in helping their client-members and created marketing solutions to help cater to their various needs.
LinkedIn has five marketing solutions namely, Sponsored Updates, Lead Accelerator, Sponsored InMail, Display Advertising, and Text Ads that aim to get a brand or a message across.
Sponsored Updates help your native advertising attract more followers and reach more people. This type allows you to customize your budget by choosing from CPC (Cost Per Click) or CPM (Cost Per Impression) schemes.
The second type of LinkedIn marketing is called Lead Accelerator. This type allows you to foster potential leads through targeted social and display ads as well as sponsored updates. What is great about this solution is that your ads performance can be measured in real time at any stage after the launch.
As the name suggests, Sponsored InMail sends tailored messages directly to your logged in and targeted audience’s LinkedIn inbox.
Engage targeted audiences with Display Advertising that are uniquely LinkedIn’s like the Join Group ads, Spotlight ads, and Follow Company ads. This ad reaches professionals even when they are logged off their LinkedIn accounts.
Lastly, LinkedIn Text Ads lets you set your own cost and create your ads easily. This type of solution does not entail long term commitments or lengthy contracts. It drives your target market directly to your website or landing page.
By subscribing to any of the LinkedIn marketing solutions, your brand or service will have a better chance of staying at the top of mind of your targeted audience.