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Linkedin Leaps Forward2011.05.30

    It seems that dotcom fever is back, though this time much smarter and more socially savvy. Linkedin is a social networking business site that launched in May 2003, became profitable in 2010, hit 100 million users in March of this year, and went public on May 19, trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNKD. You can follow the latest coverage on Linkedin on Mashable at


    Linkedin priced its IPO at $45 a share, which quickly skyrocketed over 80% to $86 a share and higher. The Wall Street Journal reported on the Linkedin IPO Millionaires Club, which includes individuals such as co-founder Reid Hoffman, CEO Jeffrey Weiner, as well as companies like Goldman Sachs and McGraw Hill, which reaped millions from the sale of Linkedin stock.


    Not only does this herald a new era of profitability for social media companies that seem to have mastered the business model, but it is another sign that social media has come of age.


    Most of us will not benefit from any of this high-level trading, but the good news is that Linkedin going public has put new pressure on the company to remain profitable by improving its services and its reach. Already boasting over 100 million registered users in 200 countries, Linkedin has established itself in a very competitive social media environment as the leading site for professional networking.


    It offers significant leverage to users even in its Basic Account, and extras for paid Business and Executive Account holders, being a platform to exchange information, ideas, and opportunities with like-minded contacts and professionals around the world. It is also an excellent way to maintain your professional identity online.


    Many people who have an account on Linkedin do not use it to the fullest. Part of the reason is competition for time and attention from other social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter, but also because the company has not been aggressive in reaching out until it began to reach critical mass. This is sure to change now that Linkedin is a public company.


    One of the ways that the site will improve is the introduction of new Apps, which Apple, Facebook, and Twitter have already proved to be a popular and profitable way to engage customers. You can explore some of the new Linkedin Apps at


    These Apps provide Linkedin users with an aesthetically appealing interface for navigating Linkedin, including Connection Timeline, Infinity, InMaps, and Resume Builder. Because these are integrated into the Linkedin platform, they are highly functional, as well as being visually attractive. Not surprisingly, the level at which you are able to benefit from the Apps depends on the type of Account that you have with Linkedin, but even at the Basic level, chances are that you can do a lot more with it than you have in the past.


    Have you updated and optimized your profile? Have you asked for and given recommendations? Joined and participated in Linkedin Groups? Made full use of the Linkedin Search function? Even been a regular visitor? Have you advertised on Linkedin? If the answer is no, or to only to some degree, then there is still a lot that you can do to leverage your Linkedin profile and connections.


    It helps to be interested in people, especially the people that you know. It helps even more to be a giver, rather than a taker, treating others as you would hope to be treated yourself. You can expect to get out of Linkedin pretty much in proportion to what you put into it, as has always been the case with social networking. The difference is that Linkedin has made a great leap forward, and you and I can benefit from the energy behind it. Watch as the number of users also makes a quantum leap, and consider how much more can be done as more people enter the mix.


    Linkedin is available in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, and expect that list to grow now as well. Although there are a lot of Japanese on Linkedin, they tend to be bilingual or living overseas. You can of course post messages on Linkedin in Japanese, and there are sites in Japanese which explain how it works, such as


    Whether you are an employer, someone looking for a job, or in business for yourself, Linkedin is the place to be. If you are not there, you are likely to be overlooked. You can search for people on Linkedin and see what potential employers would also see. You can include your Linkedin profile as part of your e-mail signature, and use it as an touch for people in your network. Linkedin is not as casual as Facebook or Twitter. It is a place to network for business, and has its own netiquette. Treat it as you would a real world business contact.


    William Reed


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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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