LinkedIn is well-positioned to be a winner among the many different social networks out there. As the primary hub for online professional data, LinkedIn has set itself up to grow multiple lines of business against its enormous and growing set of data. Even as more niche professional networks spring up, such as Doximity which tailors itself to healthcare professionals, its ability to capture a diverse professional audience will allow Linkedin to remain a strong market leader.
I believe LinkedIn is a winner because it has built up an invaluable user base and professional category of data that unlock a number of different and robust revenue streams. It has created value by providing a single online space where users can capture and market their business identities. While paper resumes still without a doubt have a role to play in business, LinkedIn has built the infrastructure for the resumes of the future. This online resume experience allows users to not only self-report their past experiences and accomplishments, but it also allows for social validation, endorsements, and connections to past examples of work. This provides users opportunities to paint more complete images of their past experiences and skills and also provides potential employers with more data when looking to hire.
Through this infrastructure, LinkedIn has captured the attention of working professionals in a number of ways. While it’s not necessarily daily, users return to LinkedIn consistently before, during, and after major career switches to update their profiles. This behavior protects LinkedIn from user churn since it remains consistently useful for individuals throughout their careers. LinkedIn has also built up a major network of content to engage users more frequently. Not only does this provide a daily feed of content for users to read, but LinkedIn has also created a stage for professionals to develop as thought leaders. Users can contribute their own content to fuel information sharing and opinion building within different professional spaces. Younger individuals earlier in their careers also benefit by gaining access to industry-specific reading to help them stay ahead of industry trends. No matter how busy, it seems that business professionals are making time in their schedules to visit LinkedIn’s web real estate.
As a result, LinkedIn has been able to grow multiple lines of business that I believe will continue to grow and be successful in the future. The attention of working professionals who have volunteered their professional identities has provided LinkedIn a unique and rare set of targeting criteria for ads. This data is typically hard to find, and particularly for B2B companies, the ability to reach certain types of professionals is incredibly valuable. In addition to Linkedin’s Ads business, it has also brought together job seekers and recruiters. Aside from updating their profiles, users can now search for jobs directly on LinkedIn’s platform. Recruiters also have access to these users, and the scope of data available on candidates far exceeds what’s available on a normal one-page resume. By building a powerful platform and collecting a rare set of data against a hard-to-reach audience, LinkedIn is a winner in my eyes and setup for further future success.