LinkedIn Slides Forward

slideshare-logo-300x300In my trip to Silicon Valley this past March, I was very impressed with LinkedIn’s business savvy. Perhaps that’s because LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, spoke to our group and laid out his business strategy, Lessons from LinkedIn CEO.

What I like about his discussion is that he was incredibly focused and what was important to him was that LinkedIn continue to add value to its users. While perhaps obvious, he fully appreciated that the model of generating revenue from businesses in hiring, selling advertising, and premium subscriptions (the 3 major revenue streams) begins with an engaged and growing user base, which was up to 116 Million users at the end of the 1st quarter.

I’ve heard people criticize LinkedIn as “boring”. “I put up my profile, and then what?”. Those who criticize LinkedIn are alas unappreciative of its unique benefits of what I believe is the most powerful personal business social media platform. LinkedIn is not about putting up photos of the family barbecue, or child’s prom photos—that’s what Facebook is about. LinkedIn is a way to position yourself and your company as a business expert and to connect, build and grow business relationships and establish new ones. It’s a brilliant hiring tool and a way to demonstrate business expertise.

One smart way to do that is the use of the SlideShare feature. Users upload presentations, PDF and Word files, and share them. It’s a great way to have your company’s credentials on display in an easy to digest form. Very smart. There are 7 Million presentations hosted on SlideShare and also 30 Million monthly viewers.

LinkedIn smartly saw the value of Slide Share and recently announced its acquisition for $119 Million. LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said that SlideShare’s purpose “aligns perfectly” with his company’s mission.

“Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity,” said LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner. “These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We’re very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn.”

The addition of SlideShare is a smart move for LinkedIn. The audience is very similar and the two companies have worked together in the past. SlideShare offered a LinkedIn app in 2008 and in 2011 added a LinkedIn share button to its documents. In addition, acquiring SlideShare makes LinkedIn more of a destination among social networks. By doing so it provides more content and adds more value to its users.

Smart thinking, Jeff. Keep focusing.

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