Reflecting on the power of LinkedIn

In July of 2013, we published an issue of the Pulse looking at the growing power of LinkedIn, a platform that, at the time, had 225 million users and was quickly growing. Now, ten years later, the twenty year-old social network has over 930 million users, and has become a part of the standard corporate networking experience.  

So, is LinkedIn still a powerful tool a decade later? In this issue of the Pulse, we investigate.  

Is LinkedIn oversaturated? 

With nearly a billion users, LinkedIn has become a lot more crowded than it was a decade ago. Many users are simply creating profiles because they feel it is necessary for their careers, without putting significant effort into the networking aspect of the site. Your inbox is likely to fill up with promotional messages about things you don’t care about. Your timeline might be congested with personal posts that seem like they belong more on Facebook or Instagram than a professional networking site.  

So, is LinkedIn past its point of usefulness? Not quite.  

LinkedIn still brings a lot of value to the table. 

While the platform has certainly changed and expanded through its massive growth, there is still tremendous opportunity to bolster your career and connections.  

Given, this isn’t true for all professionals. Although we may all feel the pressure to hop on LinkedIn, it tends to be the most successful for those in traditionally “white collar” positions and professional practices.  

So, if that’s you, what are the benefits of being purposeful and consistent with your presence on LinkedIn?  

Expanding your network.  

Like any social media platform, LinkedIn is designed to help you expand your network. Specifically, your professional network. It’s a great way to keep up to date with colleagues, clients, contacts, and prospects, as well as keep them updated with your professional accomplishments.  

Participating in groups. 

LinkedIn supports the creation of and participation in groups focused on specialized topics, industries, locations, etc. This is a great way to maintain your professional network in a relevant way, focusing your social media effort on the topics that make a difference to your career. Especially with virtual networking on the rise in the past few years, these kinds of groups are a more organic way to meet likeminded professionals.  

Establishing your expertise.  

Various posting options on LinkedIn, such as articles and videos, allow you to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Knowledge-sharing is an important part of thought-leadership, and optimizing LinkedIn to build that credibility with your network could have significant benefits for your career.  

Researching positions/applicants.  

Whether you’ll be looking for a new position in the future, or will be hiring applicants for your organization, LinkedIn is a good platform for keeping up to date, researching organizations and people, and reaching out to potential options.  

Likewise, your profile gives you the opportunity to keep others informed about your past and present accomplishments, positions, and skills, meaning potential recruiters can find you.  

In conclusion… 

Although LinkedIn is a much more crowded platform than it was when we wrote about it ten years ago, and those extra users can come with extra filler on your newsfeed, there are still a lot of benefits to maintaining your profile.