LinkedIn passes 500M users—reach them with these tools and tips

The career-focused social platform has been boosting its growth by revamping its website and offering its members (and marketers) a handful of features. Check them out below.

LinkedIn is growing—and so can your opportunities to network and expand your brand.

On Monday, the platform announced that it has more than 500 million users. That’s more than Twitter’s 313 million monthly active users, but far behind Facebook’s 1.8 billion monthly users.

However, it’s important to note that the number contains all of LinkedIn’s users, including less-active members.

Fortune reported:

Unlike some web properties, LinkedIn does not specify monthly or daily “active” users —just users in general. That’s probably because many of those members go to the site sporadically, perhaps to update resumes or check out new job opportunities. Nor does the company break out how many of its users are paying customers as opposed to those who use a subset of the site’s full services for free.

In a blog post, LinkedIn said:

This community represents 10+ million active jobs, access to 9+ million companies, and with more than 100,000 articles published every week it’s helping you stay informed on the news and views impacting your professional world. A professional community of this size has never existed until now.

But it’s often the small, simple actions today that can lead you to bigger opportunities tomorrow. And access to this community has never been easier because every new connection represents a potential new opportunity.

LinkedIn listed a few things users can obtain with each connection:

  • An average of 400 new people to get introduced to and begin building relationships.
  • 100 new companies who might be seeking your skills.
  • Connections to an average of more than 500 jobs.

Wooing users and marketers through tools and features

LinkedIn has been beefing up its offerings to attract more users, too.

CNet reported:

LinkedIn’s milestone comes nearly a year after tech giant Microsoft acquired the platform for $26.2 billion. In that time, the company has improved its mobile and desktop versions and made upgrades to features including messaging; Open Candidates, where members can discreetly notify recruiters they’re job hunting; and Salary, which assists those seeking to make more money.

TechCrunch reported:

And in its ongoing effort to increase engagement and time spent on the site, as well as to expand the links between users, LinkedIn is rolling out one more small update. From later this week, you will start to see some new information about people in your network in the “My Network” tab — where you also go to add new connections and accept invites from others.

To get people to visit that tab a little more often, LinkedIn is now going to feed you stats about people you know on the site. A spokesperson said that this will include lists of who is the most connected in your network, who has the most mutual connections and interactions with you, who was your first connection, and so on.

LinkedIn is also enticing marketers to use its platform with new features and tools.

On Monday, it unveiled “Matched Audiences,” which enables brand managers to bring in specific groups outside LinkedIn and use the platform to deliver targeted messages.

With “Website Retargeting,” marketers can tailor ads to LinkedIn users who have visited their organizations’ websites. “Account Targeting” enables you to upload a list of company names, which it will then match against the roughly 12 million company pages on the platform. “Contact Targeting” enables you to upload lists of individuals’ email addresses.

You can see how the feature works in the video below:

Get the most from LinkedIn

Using the platform’s revamped or new features can help you obtain your dream job or increase marketing leads, but PR pros can better network and take advantage of opportunities through LinkedIn with these tips:

1. Keep it professional. It’s not Facebook—nor is it Instagram—so keep the status updates about your day and pictures of your new clothes, vacation or children off your profile.

Instead, share lessons you’ve learned while working, interesting articles that relate to your industry or thoughtful questions that you’d ask during a conference or networking event.

2. Flex your writing muscles. The more than 100,000 articles published on LinkedIn each week shows that many are taking advantage of the platform as a content-marketing vehicle, and so can you.

A quick post about lessons you’ve learned or your expert opinion about a recent PR win (or debacle) can attract readers, showcase your knowledge and even get you published elsewhere (such as PR Daily).

3. Personalize interactions and cut out spam. When connecting with someone on LinkedIn, send a brief message about why you’d like to connect. This is especially useful if you’d like to chat with them about a potential opportunity or you recently met them at an event. It’s also much better than a blank request.

When you do connect with other users, don’t spam them. Sending every one of your contacts the same message about your new book or tool won’t earn you respect—and it could cut down on your connections, as people remove you from their network.

What tips would you add to the list, PR Daily readers?

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