LinkedIn was launched as a business platform – the “go-to” site for recruitment and networking. There was very little social activity, and, as Marius Greef, founder of Turn Left Media, LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions Partner in South Africa, says: “LinkedIn was really a rolodex; users created their CV online, looked for job opportunities, but there wasn’t a lot of social”.
LinkedIn is becoming more social
Fast forward 18 years, and LinkedIn has evolved with the times.
People are starting to share their personal stories more freely – bridging the professional/personal gap and making real and deeper connections with their clients, colleagues, and employers.
And thanks to this shift in the type of content created by its members, LinkedIn has transformed into a platform that is visited daily. Through the value and insights offered by this new type of content, LinkedIn has evolved into a platform where people can connect and share – but with a professional undertone that still differentiates it from other social media platforms.
Is LinkedIn still relevant to business?
The platform now contains 15 times more content-related posts than job posts, making it the ideal place to inspire, educate and learn. According to Samantha Olivier from Turn Left Media, LinkedIn “is a place you go to invest your time and find new ways to achieve your ambitions. It is not a mindless scroll – it is an intentional one. And that intention mindset is key.”
Research done in 2021 by Interpret shows that users approach LinkedIn with purpose; to learn from experts, look for new opportunities and be inspired by like-minded people.
It is this mindset difference that makes LinkedIn unique and keeps it relevant for those producing content, looking to connect with brands and businesses on a new level.
Businesses can benefit from the focused intent of users
Businesses should keep this mindset at the core of their content planning and strategising in order to provide users with content that doesn’t merely sell a product or advertise a job opening.
With a core focus on social selling, businesses can take a targeted approach to using curated content and building relationships with key decision makers. Through the creation of content that enriches the lives of the users on LinkedIn, businesses can pull these users back multiple times – ensuring that they are front-of-mind when purchasing and partnering decisions need to be made.
A two-pronged approach to business
Ultimately, business is social. We buy from brands that resonate with us, and we buy from people who we have built relationships with.
And with the current way-of-work we see the world in (remote work) being here to stay – in some form or another – relationships, especially professional ones are being forged on LinkedIn. With over 850 million members, all representing a potential buyer – whether in a personal capacity or as a business representative – there is no better place for businesses to present themselves in a personable and approachable way.
Companies and execs need to continue to take LinkedIn very seriously if they want to maintain their networks, grow their businesses and upskill – while building connections in a way that is core to human behaviour: socially.
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