Social media continues to be the topic du jour among food brands seeking strategic and measurable ways to grow their brand impact and engage buyers and consumers alike. Some have succeeded with new platforms like TikTok, while others still play the recipe game on Facebook and YouTube. However, the sleeping giant of the social media landscape is LinkedIn, and it’s having its moment.
According to their Wikipedia page, LinkedIn is a business and employment-focused social media platform launched on May 5, 2003, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.
LinkedIn has 875 million users, which pales in comparison to Meta users, but those on LinkedIn have a more specific reason for being there.
What started as a public resume, the channel allows networking with friends and colleagues.
But it also fosters ambition with the opportunity to follow and connect to strangers, the kind who might be your future employer, may be influential in your chosen field, or generally inspire you professionally.
LinkedIn is a channel for making connections (not friends), and there’s weight in that delineation.
A community-policed platform, the content published by users and company profiles on LinkedIn maintains a business focus.
Sometimes loosely associated with a business value or case, users are quick to encourage content that is too personal or not closely aligned enough to business to find a different channel, thus maintaining the growing value of the LinkedIn community.
From a marketing perspective, the rise of personal brands has been fostered across LinkedIn for nearly a decade.
The platform serves as a megaphone for sharing throughout the leadership, and many public speakers and influencers have successfully connected with their audience and provided value through their channel.
Likewise, company profiles can position themselves as industry leaders, sharing proof points, case studies, and event spotlighting their executive teams and achievements.
And although many companies are trying to sell their products and services on the platform, the more successful ones are promoting their culture, their people, and their values.
According to Hootsuite, 57% of LinkedIn users identify as men, with 43% identifying as women.
Millennials are the most populous user group, with nearly 60% of LinkedIn’s users between 25 and 34 years old.
Not too surprising given the career ambitions of this demographic. It’s still a job platform boasting 52 million people searching for jobs each week.
In a world where pay-to-play is the name of the marketing game on social media, and LinkedIn does offer the opportunity to sponsor content to target a specific audience, it’s still a free platform for making connections and growing your network.
Staying true to traditional social media strategies of feeding the channel, company pages that post weekly have 5.6x more followers than those posting monthly.
LinkedIn provides both short-form and long-form content options for publishing.
Thirty-six thousand newsletters are published through this channel, including those from Melinda Gates, Richard Branson, Ariana Huffington, and various publishers like The Economist. Of those 36k newsletters, 29 million unique people are subscribers.
There is a professional case for having a LinkedIn profile and a business case for company profiles. All in the name of making the connection.
With the variety of publishing opportunities and the ability to publicly position yourself or your company and control that narrative with a profile, LinkedIn has maintained its value and increased its relevance since its inception.
Happy 20th anniversary LinkedIn. Here’s to many more.