LinkedIn: The Sneaky Social Platform?

During a meeting recently with a large PR agency discussing different approaches to social media, one of their executives described LinkedIn as “the sneaky social platform that no one is paying much attention to”.

Not surprisingly, this caught my attention given LinkedIn has more than 100 million members, and I’ve never heard anyone describe it as “sneaky”.

What the PR person meant was that LinkedIn is being leveraged in ways that may capture the spotlight. While LinkedIn is seen as a professional social service to publish your resume and make digital connections, the PR person also identified two other key benefits:

1. Website traffic referrals. While Facebook and Twitter attract most of the attention when it comes to sharing links to Websites, blogs and articles, LinkedIn is also becoming a bigger and more interesting player to drive traffic as professionals show more of an appetite for social sharing.

2. Targeted advertising: Unlike a Twitter, which relies on the information that people provide within their bios to provide advertisers with information about users, or Facebook, which is more of a personal social network, the details that LinkedIn user provide makes it easier to accurately pursue target audiences.

If anything, it’s an interesting perspective on LinkedIn and how it can be more effectively leveraged beyond making new connections.

In particular, the Website traffic referral angle is intriguing because social sharing can be an effective and powerful way to drive more attention, especially as content marketing gains more traction.

I would suggest this kind of referral traffic could have more oomph due to the “quality” of the people do the sharing and the kind of content they’re sharing.

In a recent blog post, Compete asked whether LinkedIn was becoming more of a “personal professional network”, while Buzz12 talks about how 25% of its referral traffic comes from LinkedIn.

What are your thoughts about LinkedIn? Do you see it as an attractive traffic referral and advertising platform?

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