What is LinkedIn?

“LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 175 million members and growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.” (LinkedIn, 2012)

Unlike Facebook, that was created as a social media platform for friends and family to connect and keep in contact with, or Twitter, that stands as a social media platform dominated by celebrities and giant media organisations, LinkedIn is the “professional’s social network”. (Fast Company, 2012) Like its’ competitors, LinkedIn is a free social networking site, however it does provide users with the option to upgrade to higher levels, “Executive”, “Business Plus” and “Business” that obviously provide more advantageous options. (LinkedIn, 2012)

Its’ sole purpose is to connect professional’s, or aspiring professionals, to one another, through a medium that allows the users to view each other’s profiles, that is set up much like that of a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume.

A LinkedIn profile shows a users:

  • Name
  • Experience
  • Education and Qualifications
  • Skills and Expertise
  • Recommendations given by prior employers, colleagues and teachers OR recommendations you have made for employees, colleagues or teachers
  • Endorsements, given or received
  • The recent activity the user has had on LinkedIn, who they have recently “connected” with and what organization that connection is from
  • How many times a users profile has been viewed in the past 30 or 90 days
  • Resume – should the user choose to attach it

A LinkedIn profile also gives users the option to provide their personal information, such as their contact details, and additional information like the link to their Twitter account and/or Website.

LinkedIn has a “Home” page that is much like the “News Feed” page on Facebook. However there is a vast amount of difference in the content that is shared on this page, as it is not only the users that can post updates like ‘status’s’ on Facebook. LinkedIn shares information that it thinks is relevant to you and your recent activity, such as the “recent connections” that have been made between either, 2 or more of your connections, or, 1 of your connections that has connected with another professional that LinkedIn believe you might know.

Other content displayed on the Home page may be showing that a connection has updated their skills or experience. This is great because it is like updating a resume instantaneously and it is brought to potential employers attentions.

“Frankly, if you’re in the professional world and not using LinkedIn, I’m not sure what you’re thinking.” (PR Daily, 2012)



LinkedIn Today

A tool on LinkedIn that appears on the Homepage that is constantly updated with the latest news and articles on topics that relate to your industry, for example: Public Relations and Communications

LinkedIn Today allows users to customize their news by providing potential industries for the user to follow, which would be beneficial for them and their profession.


 LinkedIn provides its users with the opportunity to promote employment positions within their organization, as well as, allows for users to directly apply for those positions through LinkedIn.

Once the user as clicked on the “jobs” tab, a list of potential employment opportunities, that have been filtered according to that users connections and industry profession, will appear for the user to peruse.

Company Groups

 Companies and Organisations are able to create their own group, for fellow professionals to follow and be kept up-to-date with the latest news and information.

“Just in one week, more than 40,000 companies signed up, since now marketers can use the page to promote new products and …yes, engage with their customers.” (Advertising Age, 2010)



LinkedIn was conceived by co-founder, Reid Hoffman in 2002 before being officially launched in May of 2003. Within its first month, LinkedIn received 4,500 members and  “As of June 30, 2012…professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of approximately two new members per second.” (LinkedIn, 2012)

Co-Founder of LinkedIn

Facts about Reid Hoffman

  • Co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn.
  • Ranked No. 229 in Forbes’ 400 Richest Americans list, with a net worth of $2.1 billion as of September 2012
  • Age: 45
  • Education: Master of Science, Oxford University; Bachelor of Arts / Science, Stanford University
  • Fact: In 2004, Hoffman invested $40,000 into Facebook which he received a return-on-investment of more than $100 million

* Source: (Forbes, 2012)


The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network.” (LinkedIn, 2012)

LinkedIn was a success right from the beginning in the first month with 4,500 members and is now an even bigger success being the largest professional networking site on the internet. (LinkedIn, 2012)

From 2011 and 2012 LinkedIn saw a massive growth from all around the world with Indonesia at the top of the growth chart on 111.0% and the Netherlands at the bottom with 22.1%, which is still a big number.

As a companies business grows the demand for things becomes higher. Behind the scenes of the LinkedIn site the employee rate is climbing with the companies success.

LinkedIn had 2,861 full time employees on June 30 2012 and started the year off with around 2,100. Going back even further LinkedIn had only 500 full time employees at the beginning of 2010 and that went up to around 1000 at the beginning of 2011. (LinkedIn, 2012)


LinkedIn is a public company and in a specialist field of social networking and social connection.

There are handfuls of other social platforms on the world wide web so what makes LinkedIn different to the others and what is causing LinkedIn to soar higher than those similar.

LinkedIn is the largest professional networking site on the internet (LinkedIn, 2012) and it plans on staying that way.

LinkedIn is a “virtual rolodex” (Forbes, 2012) with old members and new members signing up and signed up for employment opportunities, business networking and recruitment purposes.

The difference between LinkedIn is that users are knowingly signing up to a business platform to better their companies or personal opporutnities and other networking sites such as Facebook are used for personal socialization.

When signing up on LinkedIn users are prompted to supply as much information as possible about their previous and current jobs, members build their profile the way they want others to view it.

LinkedIn provides a place for people to connect and share their work life and interests, it provides a place that they can do so without revealing their private interests such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

LinkedIn’s niche was discovered from the beginning and this is professionals looking to connect and network with other professionals in the same or similar fields easily.

It is doubtful that LinkedIn will ever take a non-professional and more social role in the networking sites as their professional ‘virtual rolodex’ has proven beneficial for them.

Demographics & Geographics:

  • The standard user of linked in is male being 57% and aged between 25 and 54 years, 67.7%. Compared to the previous year, the percentage of teenagers (18-24) has grown more than other age groups.
  • Compared to Januaury 2011, LinkedIn’s members have grown by 45% world-wide.
  • Over 44% of Linkedin’s users work in companies with more than 10,000 employees, in Asia the figure rises up to 57.3%
  • 39% of LinkedIn members are managers, directors, owners, CEO or vice president.
  • LinkedIn’s members have reached 147 million, although this figure is an approximation provided by LinkedIn.
  • Considering the number of members, Brazil has overtaken Canada, France has overtaken Netherlands and Italy has taken over Australia compared with January 2011 data.
  • The job functions with the highest concentration worldwide are entrepentship 10.8%, sales 9.5%, operations 8.3% while functions with lower concentration are purchasing 0.7%, product management 0.7% and military and productive services.


  • Consumers tend to trust information received from social networking sites, with LinkedIn being the leader in consumer trust; being trusted by 82% of consumers, whereas, Facebook sits at 23% trust level among consumers and Twitter at 28%.


LinkedIn is used by 69 of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies.  With 80% of LinkedIn members influencing business decisions at their companies, this network generates serious business potential through referrals and leads.

Leading sectors on LinkedIn are tech and finance and LinkedInstats show tech leading the pack at 15.3% of users and finance 12.9%. (

LinkedIn is a great Social Media site for business owners that can have a tremendous impact on their business.  LinkedIn is free to use and a important resource for professional networking, to build business relationships and provide or receive referrals.  It is a network for professionals of all ages to gather and share information as well as discover new business opportunities.




LinkedIn 2012, Learning Centre, viewed October 3rd 2012,

LinkedIn 2012, Subscriptions, viewed October 3rd 2012,

Fast Company 2012, LinkedIn Launches Blogging Platform with Help from Obama Romney, Mansueto Ventures, viewed October 3rd 2012,

PR Daily 2012, 12 LinkedIn secrets to supercharge your social networking, viewed October 3rd 2012,

Advertising Age 2010, Why LinkedIn Is the Social Network That Will Never Die, viewed October 3rd 2012,

Forbes 2012, Reid Hoffman, viewed October 3rd,



LinkedIn 2012, about us, viewed October 3rd 2012,

LinkedIn 2012, about us, viewed October 3rd 2012,

LinkedIn 2012, about us, viewed October 3rd 2012,

LinkedIn 2012, about us, viewed October 3rd 2012,

Forbes, 2012, Facebook vs LinkedIn – What’s the difference? Viewed October 3rd 2012,


Blue Rise Media, LinkedIn, 2012 (

Blue Rise Media, LinkedIn, 2012(

Slide share 2012, demographics and statistics (